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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Her Art Deco Majesty, the Astor Hotel

The Astor Hotel, Astoria, Oregon The Astor Hotel at Commercial and 14th Streets is the tallest building in Astoria, unless you're counting the column at the top of Coxcomb Hill. It's also one of the most striking due to its intriguing Art Deco design. The rear of this building has some outstanding windows that look totally different, and yet blend beautifully with the whole. I'll post them soon. You can read concise history of the building on the web site of Robert D. West, Astoria, Oregon. Scroll down to Number 14, John Jacob Astor Hotel. Briefly, it was built in the aftermath of the 1922 fire that burned 32 city blocks of downtown Astoria. It has an unexpected place in history in that cable TV was invented in this building in 1948 by Ed Parsons, and it became the location of the first cable TV company. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the end, Astoria could not support the large number of hotel rooms, and in 1968 it closed for eleven years. It's currently used for low-income housing for the elderly and others who receive Section Eight housing benefits. As it's only one block from the river, it affords a remarkable view.

The darker building in the middle is the newly-refurbished Commodore Hotel, seen in this earlier post.

The building in front is the one in this post with the striking Art Deco rounded window at the corner made up of small squares of glass.

11 comments:

Don and Krise said...

Wonderful story of a historic building. It is too bad that is has come down to only being useful for low income housing. Hopefully it will be around for many years to come and some business (or businesses) will really bring it back to life.

tapirgal said...

I was thinking how nice it was that people in low-income housing were not relegated to the depressing conditions they sometimes end up with. I think it's nice. Maybe if tourism grows here, there will be room for both in this lovely building.

Jacob said...

It is a beautiful building...and congrats on your new notoriety!

I have visited KKEE's website. You should be proud. It's nice to have your hard work validated.

Vogon Poet said...

Fine building and I like its present destination.

Don and Krise said...

You are right. Possibly the two could co-exist within the one building. In regards to your comments on our blog, I haven't played with the manual settings too much either. I too was very used to my old manual 35mm and understood it well. It was my "old shoe". A lot has changed since then. The nice thing about my DSLR is I can play with the settings and take hundreds of photos. Any that don't come out right are gone in an instant. Hopefully there are a few good ones to show I did learn something. As you try things, write them down. That way you can go back and have a starting point.

artdecobuildings said...

Great story Sheryl. It is fantastic when old buildings are retained under adaptive re-use. It is a good use of resources to retain a building rather than tear it down and build something new and low-income housing is, in my opinion, one of the very best uses of a building.

Babooshka said...

Terrific shot and write up. After the trouble I've had with companies stealing my images it's so good to see you were asked first and only happy to agree to it's use. Congrats. Always a good feeling when it's done the right way.

Lee Spangler said...

Wonderful shot of the detail of the JJ Astor. What is also cool is what is left of the interior of the main floor. We'll sneak in next weekend.

tapirgal said...

We'll have to report back on the blog!

cieldequimper said...

Very nice architecture, it reminds me a little of a building I've seen in Seattle. Interesting post, as usual!

Sueso said...

My sister and her husband spent their honeymoon in this fabulous hotel! Back in the early 50's when I was teeny tiny. I believe it was pink then but don't quote me.

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