This was originally published on Martha Sparks’ My West Virginia Mountain website and is reprinted here with her permission and our special thanks.
The Aracoma Hotel is located among the densely packed commercial structures of Stratton, Main and Cole Streets in downtown Logan. Construction got underway in August 1916 and continued until early May, 1918. The 96 room hotel, with fronts on all of the above named streets, is four stories high, with a basement. The hotel extends 65 feet on Stratton Street, the complete block of 102 feet on Cole Street, and 116 feet on Main Street.
At the time of the pending construction of the hotel was announced, it was billed to become the largest and most expensive building in Logan County. When completed, the newspaper account of such predicted the new hotel would “compare favorably with any in the state in the elaborateness of design and its convenient arrangement and accommodations”. At the time of its opening, the Logan Democrat, described the hotel as follows:
The main floor is occupied by the office and lobby, the dining room, and the kitchen. In the basement are the boiler room, store room, servants dining room, and several sample rooms. The lobby with its tiled floor, elegant desk, massive pillars, large log fireplace, broad stairway, large and numerous windows, well harmonized drapery, and beautiful electric lights is as attractive, and is capable of seating 102 guests at one time without crowding.
The buildings foundation of rock faced ashlar extends three feet above sidewalk level. Above the foundation the exterior finish is brown-red brick, laid in running bond, with sills and horizontal banding of limestone. Brick pilasters capped in limestone are spaced between the large windows of the storefront level.
Original terra-cotta markers, reading “ARACOMA – HOTEL”, are visible above the new aluminum doors on the Main Street and Cole Street entrances.
The large cornice shown in historic photographs has been replace by a six foot band of metal siding. Just below the fascia, decorative brickwork is present. On this area of the fourth floor the field brick turns yellow, with accents in brown-red brick and limestone cut in large diamond shapes.
Another six-foot band of metal siding has been installed just above the storefront level. Large white letters (approximately two feet high) attached to the metal band read “ARACOMA HOTEL”.
The windows of the upper three stories are double-hung, one-over-one aluminum replacement units, installed in the original openings. Each bay of the building is approximately 10 feet in width. The hotel is twelve bays wide on the main street entrance (Main Street) side and 10 bays wide on the secondary side (Cole Street).
Inside, the hotel lobby and rooms have been altered cosmetically. The lobby floor, a mosaic of hexagonal tile, is exposed and in excellent condition.
The hotel interior was extensively remodeled during the 1970’s. The tops of the original arched windows which faced the Cole and Main Street facades are hidden beneath the aluminum course which encircles the building. The main lobby and the building, overall however, retain much of the 1921 appearance.
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Aracoma Hotel Front Desk courtesy of Dawn Bailey.
Aracoma Hotel switchboard courtesy of Dawn Bailey. Her Aunt Naida Sadler worked the switchboard.