A Look Back at the Majestic Hotel


Last year, Arkansas lost a historic architectural treasure to fire. The Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs caught fire February 27, 2014 and burned to the ground, dashing local support for restoration. 

The original Majestic Hotel was constructed in 1902 and was a favorite destination for several Major League teams including the renowned Boston Red Sox. The Sox trained at Majestic Field on the south end of town. As part of their training they hiked the four miles to and from the ball field, over West Mountain. 

Constructed on the site of the Whittington House in 1926, the second Majestic Hotel was an eight story brick structure connected to the first Majestic Hotel on the right and the Lanai Suites (1958) on the left. Designed by Sanders and Ginocchio (Cromwell firm predecessor), the building had a one story entrance and lobby projection, the parapet of which was adorned with urns, that faced the street. Windows were six-over-one double-hung with the exception of the one story section that had multi-paned casement windows with fixed side lights and transom. Four pairs of windows on the seventh floor had wrought iron balconies. One of the most distinguishing features of this hotel was the rich classically-inspired cast ornament that embellished the two top and bottom floors. In 1934, the firm of Thompson, Sanders and Ginnochio (Cromwell firm predecessor), was responsible for some alterations, the nature of which is not known.

In February of 2013, Abandoned Arkansas documented the Majestic in it’s abandoned state, and again after it’s destruction. Their photographs captured the derelict beauty of the property, including some still stunning original architectural features.