National Register of Historic Places in Yolo County

National Register #94001225: Hotel Woodland 11 August 2006
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National Register #94001225
Hotel Woodland
426 Main Street
Built 1927

From about 1850 until 1950, hotels were among the most important commercial establishments in prosperous American towns.

Hotels provided essential accommodations for visitors, short-term residents, and permanent boarders. The more opulent hotels had other functions: to offer elegance unseen in other public buildings, to furnish a venue for activities of the town's business elite and other upper-class residents, and to provide an imposing, stylish, and well-crafted addition to the downtown commercial district.

In Woodland, and presumably elsewhere, such hotels enjoyed only a limited stay at the peak of fashion. With changing public taste and advances in technology, they soon lost the ability to attract an affluent clientele. They then needed to refocus their appeal, often becoming boarding houses. Demolition was their ultimate fate.

As a town of only a few thousand, Woodland could never support more than one first-class hotel at a time. Less pretentious lodging houses were always available, however, usually numbering about a half-dozen in any year after 1880.

When the Hotel Woodland, designed by William H. Weeks, opened in 1927, it immediately took its place as the city's preeminent hotel. Its four stories and high cost made it the tallest and most expensive building in the city.

The Spanish Colonial Revival design was fashionable and competently executed. Up-to-date facilities for guests included a cooling system on the roof and a bath in every bedroom. Public spaces were the most impressive of any privately owned building in town. The lobby featured beamed ceilings, wrought-iron chandelier, large fireplace, and tiled floor. The banquet hall, which could seat two hundred, gave the city a place for large meetings that it had not had before.

Two other rooms, a lady's lounge and a men's waiting room, provided space for parties and other small functions. Among the stores located in the building were a coffee shop, telegraph office, and newsstand.

In addition to being individually listed on the National Register, Hotel Woodland contributes to the character of the Downtown Woodland Historic District.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

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