Idaho Falls - City of Destiny

New Bonneville Hotel Complete

The Times-Register, Tuesday, May 31, 1927.

Nothing Overlooked in the Way of Best Mechanical Features and Technical Details . . . (By W. C. McCaddin, Building Superintendent.)

The new community hotel, which opens its doors for business on June 1st, 1927, is the result of community enterprise and intelligent cooperation, and being unique in many ways, including its inception, a "paper journey" through the big building is worth while, beginning with the idea and the completed building.

The idea is the result of the pride of a number of people who wished to advance the community in the best way possible, and the idea once born soon grew into a reality through the effort of the Hockenbury System, the representative of which, Lewis D. Barr, was the guiding spirit, managing the campaign for the raising of the funds.

The H. L Stevens Co. of San Francisco, hotel architects, and the foremost in their line in the United States, with many successfully built and operated hotels to their credit, were engaged as architects and engineers, and how well their part was done is best illustrated by the completed structure.

Ground was broken on August 24th, 1926, and one month from that date, or September 24th, the first concrete was poured. The work was pushed as rapidly as men, skill and equipment could be put to work, with the result that on November 30th the great building was under roof and cover. During that short time 1100 yards of concrete were placed which with other material called for, included 63 tons of reinforcing steel. An innovation was created in the laying of the thousands of brick in the walls. The prediction was that the construction work would stop during the cold weather, but not so. Modern methods and science have overcome any such difficulties, so that by February 1st, 1927 that work was completed.

With the building under roof and the walls in place the work of installing the plumbing and heating was carried on rapidly and without interruption. The plasterers, the painters and the electricians and other mechanical work followed in rapid succession, so that on May 10th of the present year, with the exception of some finishing touches, the work was completed and ready for the equipment, the installation of which began at once, with the big new building all ready for business within nine months' time of the breaking of the first ground. Certainly a record and achievement in construction, of which all concerned can be justly proud.

The building wad designed by the H. L. Stevens & Company, follows the Italian Renaissance period in general outline, and yet is sufficiently modern to be in keeping with the progressive spirit of the town. The building occupies a site 94x120 feet, located on the corner of "C" street and Park avenue. The structure itself is of reinforced concrete, faced with brick and therefore thoroughly fireproof. It is five stories in height above the street and has a basement under two-thirds of the building. There are 76 rooms on the four guest room floors. These rooms are all equipped with at least toilets and lavatories and 36 of them have bathtubs and 20 have showers. The facades of the building on "C" and Park are wire-cut brick, varied in color from salmon to maroon brown. This field brick is relieved by brown and gray brick trim and chocolate colored art stone. There are ornamental iron balconies to add interest, and colorful Spanish tile grooves to give contrast.

The guest rooms are delightful. The walls are paneled and the panels papered in between and below, the tops are painted a neutral gray. The ceilings and border strip are light sand color, in contrast to the inevitable white ceiling, and this proves to be very restful. The floors are covered with rugs rich in design, having a thick padding under them, making them very soft, and add thereby to the comfort and quietness of the room. Mention must be made of the bathrooms gleaming with white enamel and fitted with porcelain fixtures and metal medicine cabinets and patterned tile floor. The doors opening on to corridors have ventilouveres so that the guest can regulate the ventilation of the room.

The corridors are carpeted except on the elevator landings, which are of a rich brown tile.

A guest, arriving, walks through the east or south entrance into the main lobby, which is 30x40 feet. The walls are of a rich golden sand color, slightly varying in shade. The ceiling has heavy beams, mahogany in color. These are ornamented with stencil designs. Large plate glass windows looking out on "C" street. The floors are of terrazo, the general color being a warm pink Vermont marble. This color is set off into panels with black stripe and white edges. The fixed furnishings of the room are the clerk s desk and magazine rack nook, to the west the manager's office, and in the middle of the west wall is a beautiful hand-made art tile mantle and fireplace. This is flanked with plate glass windows, giving a delightful glimpse of the cafeteria beyond. On the wall is a recessed writing room and opposite are the telephone booths.

The cafeteria is west of the lobby and can be reached from the lobby or "C" street entrance. This room is 45x33 feet. The walls are of putty colored texture plaster and the floors of gray terrazo with black and white paneling.

Adjacent to the cafeteria is the kitchen. This is without doubt the most completely furnished and equipped kitchen in this part of the country. A list of the equipment, which includes electric ranges, gas and electric broilers, coal range, steam kettle, steam cooker, electric oven, vegetable peeler, ice cream freezer, steam tables, baker's and cook's tables, dishwashers, , refrigerator with electric cooler and an electrically driven cake mixer, is a substantiation of this claim. The room itself, 39x24 feet, is lighted by large skylights and is painted white down to about seven feet from the floor, which part is light gray. The space and lightness of this kitchen will insure it easily being kept clean and attractive.

Going down the foyer on the east side of the lobby and opposite the foot of the main stairs, is the entrance to the club room. This room, with its copper antiqued and textured walls, is for the smaller banquets and luncheons. It is lighted by a large skylight, the light is defused by colored glass set in a grille. This room is divided from the main banquet hall by rolling partitions so that the two may be thrown together for the larger affairs.

The banquet room is reached through a small entrance foyer and extends from the club room to the alley at the rear, and has large windows on the east and north sides. The ceiling is about 20 feet high and narrow, deep beams run across it, adding to its apparent height. The wall treatment is a light salmon texture plaster and on the west, north and east sides the wall space is relieved by an arch and panel of travertine stone plaster, lined as if built of massive stones. The floor of highly polished gray onyx terrazo is laid in panels. The ceiling with its many beams will be decorated with a textured paint and will be stenciled , giving a very rich effect.

To reach the guest room floors there is an elevator, or one can use the stairs, which are quite unique. The risers of these stairs are made of hand-made clay tiles of various colors. The designs are of highly conventualized animals and birds. The treads are of a dark brown and are broken up to give a rustic effect.

On the first landing above the ground floor is a ladies parlor, beautifully decorated and furnished with a full length mirror to aid milady in her toilette.

Special mention must be made of the lighting fixtures in the public spaces, as these have been specially selected to harmonize with the rooms and yet they carry out a uniform motif. The room fixtures are dainty and in keeping with the quite tone and dignity of the rooms themselves.

The mechanical features of the building, though not so beautiful perhaps, contribute more to the comfort of the guest and so a short description is in order.

In the basement besides the storage rooms are two help's locker rooms and a men's toilet. Two large boilers of ample capacity for any demand are fitted with all the regulating and safety devices for efficient operation. There is a 1200 gallon hot water tank insuring an instant and copious supply of hot water. A water softener, so that guests may enjoy the luxury of really soft filtered water. A freight elevator at the rear, to be used for hoisting supplies and ashes from the boilers. There is a large fuel storage room which can be filled directly from the alley.

On the ground floor on the Park avenue front are four stores which are planned to perform the services and supply the needs of the guests and users of the hotel as well as the general public. Three of these stores may be reached without going outside the building.

All will realize from the foregoing the care and planning that has gone into the building by all parties concerned, to the end that it might be beautiful, economical, efficient and a credit to the city. This building stands as a worthy monument to the enterprise and industry of this community.


Historic Bonneville Hotel Articles

Historic Bonneville Hotel
New Bonneville Hotel Complete
The Times-Register, Tuesday, May 31, 1927.
Idaho Falls Community Hotel Corporation
The Times-Register, Tuesday, May 31, 1927
Pioneer Hotels of Idaho Falls
The Times-Register, Tuesday, May 31. 1927
Captain Bonneville
The Times-Register, Tuesday, May 31, 1927

Bonneville Hotel as of 1980