Filed Under Businesses

American Hotel

During the 19th Century, the American Hotel was a location for stage coach travelers to stop as they traveled on the Wooster Pike between Cleveland and Columbus. There they had lodging and a hot meal. They could also get fresh horses to continue on their journey. In the early 1900s, this Victorian-style hotel served as a center for travel, social life, and business in Medina.

From the 1930s forward, however, the hotel was no longer a central part of Medina. Like many small towns in America, the automobile changed the way people moved and lived. In 1954, the Savings Deposit Bank bought the American Hotel and proceeded to knock down the historic building to make a parking lot. The bank's monthly newsletter from August 1954 described it as a parking lot that "will appear different than any other you have ever seen." The property remained a parking lot for the remainder of the century.

In 2003, the location changed again as the parking lot became a coffee shop named Cool Beans. Its location on the square is ideal for serving the community coffee and snacks. The story of the location of the American Hotel is a good example of how a place can change over time to serve the evolving needs of the community in which it is located.

Images

American Hotel, ca. 1872 Medina's first American Hotel was built in 1830 in the Federal style and was later replaced with a three-story brick building that had thirty sleeping rooms. During the 1870 fire on Medina Square, blankets and quilts were laid on the roof and kept wet with salt and water. The building was saved, but the furnishings were badly damaged when they were hurriedly moved from the building. The porch and second story verandah were added in 1875 and were a favorite gathering place for Medina's 'sidewalk superintendents.' Image courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society
American Hotel, 1916 From the 1880s to the 1920s the American Hotel continued as a center of business and social life in Medina. There seems to be a holiday of some sort being celebrated in this photograph of the American Hotel from 1916. What similarities do you see between this holiday decoration and how Medina's square is decorated for patriotic events nowadays? Image Courtesy of Medina County Historical Society
Hotel, 1954 From the 1930s onward, the American Hotel was in decline "[a]s salesmen and other travelers took their patronage to motels or found it convenient to skip Medina for overnight stops in favor of easily reached larger cities." (Medina Gazette Post Jan. 6, 1965). The Savings and Deposit Bank next to the Hotel purchased the building with the intention of knocking it down to build a parking lot. Image courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society
"Pioneering Ahead," 1954 Bank executives discuss the plan for the demise of the American Hotel in 1954. What does the bank's title statement of "Pioneering Ahead In Medina County" mean for the hotel and the use of the square in Medina? How was this location going to be used differently from how it had been used in the past? What does "pioneering ahead" mean for the automobile industry, Medina County, and the old Wooster Pike stagecoach line? Image courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society
Cool Beans Drive Thru, 2010 Moms in minivans can now pick up coffee and ice cream for the kids at Cool Beans coffee shop on the site of the old American Hotel. In terms of the concept of place, how has this location at the northwest corner of the Medina Square changed over time to serve the needs of the people of Medina? Are there similar locations in other towns across America that have undergone similar transitions? What are some factors that have contributed to changes in the city centers of small towns in America? Image courtesy of Mark Valentino

Location

Metadata

Shannon Conley, “American Hotel,” Cleveland Historical, accessed May 26, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/295.