Visitors to downtown Cleveland in the past decade or so might have noticed the small town’s lone “skyscraper,” the old five-story Grover Hotel, standing vacant. The Grover and its minimal Mission style has been a fixture in Cleveland’s skyline since it opened in 1926, as shown in this undated postcard from the Cooper Postcard Collection.
The MDAH database doesn’t list an architect, but does have this little blurb about the history of the buidling:
The Grover was constructed in 1926 at a cost of $125,000 as the Delta’s finest hotel and Cleveland’s first skyscraper. It had 100 rooms that serviced the railroad employees and other business travelers. The 1930 city directory shows that tailor R.S. Cooper, the Palace Barber Shop, and the Hotel Grover Cafe were located here. In the 1940s and 1950s, the hotel was off-limits to the students at Delta State.
I don’t know for sure when the hotel closed–1990s, or was it earlier? Here’s how the poor thing looked in July 2010 when I passed through town. The original windows were replaced probably in a 1960s or 1970s modernization, with terrible partial infill. Poor vacant and unloved thing, bless its heart.
A few ideas and development plans have floated around over the years but nothing ever got off the ground. Until recently, that is. Flickr member Ol’ Blue, who lives in nearby Skene, took a couple of pictures of the renovation project underway to transform the hotel into a mixed-use building, with retail on the first floor and condominium units above. Look what a difference the new windows that actually fit make in the look of the building, and those fanlights over the front entrances!
According to this story in the Cleveland Current, local businessman and contractor Raymond Huerta is putting four condo units per floor, I’m told that from the fifth floor, you can see forever, out past Cleveland and into the Delta lands beyond. Congratulations to Cleveland and here’s wishing this long-awaited project success!