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Ogden's "Grand Hotel"-the Bigelow-Preserves a Historic Area
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From War to war

UTAH aND THE COLD WAR

World War I and Utah
Utah's Capitols
Herbert S. Auerbach, Renaissance Man
Utah's "Ugly Duckling" Salt Flats
Publicizing Bryce Canyon
The Last Indian Uprising
Home Industry 20th Century Style
Some 80 Utah Nurses Served in World War I
World War I Heroine Maud Fitch Lived in Eureka, Utah
Mexican Families and the Sugar Industry in Garland
The Development of Zion National Park
The Twenties
Artist John Held, Jr. Created Cultural Icons, 1920's
Media Development in Weber County
Silent Films Intrigued & Occasionally Offended
Coal Production Amid the Wars
Sheep Fueled 1920's Economy
Military Installations
Boxcars and Section Houses
Jack Dempsey Loved Fighting, Mining, and Cowboying
Radio in Utah Began in May 1922 on Station KZN
The Cigarette Ban of the 19020's Caused an Uproar
Prohibition Failed to Stop the Liquor Flow in Utah
Lawyer Ran For President on the Farmer-Labor Ticket
George Sutherland Served on the U.S. Supreme Court
Alice Stratton Feared and Made Fun of "Kaiser Bill"
Klansmen at a Funeral and a Terrible Lynching
President Harding's 1923 Visit to Utah
Growing Crops For the Cannery
Dinosaur National Monument
The Fathers of Capitol Reef National Park
Ogden's the Bigelow-Preserves a Historic Area
Philo T. Farnsworth's Invention
The Beginnings of Commerical Aviation
The White Book Road Guide
The Great Depression
Depression Memories
"Even Grasshoppers Were Starving" During Drought
New Deal Agencies Built 233 Buildings in Utah
"Alphabet" Agencies in Utah County
The Civilian Conservation Corps Was a Boon to Utah
The Civilian Conservation Corps
Marriner S. Eccles Helped Design FDR's New Deal
Reed Smoot and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930
Reed Smoot & America's Natural Resources, 1903-33
Children in the 1930's Hoped to Become Nurses & Pilots
Arches National Monument
A Labor Inspector During the Great Depression
Clean Clothes Blowing in the Breeze
Utah's Rosies in the War
Garfield County Airport Has Unusual Hangar
Marie Ogden Led Spiritual Group in San Juan County
Uinta Basin Group Trekked to the 1933 World's Fair
Helen Hofmann Bertagnole-"Utah's Queen of Swing"
World War II in Utah
How Trains Helped Win a War
The War Effort at Home
Topaz Relocation Center
Topaz: Japanese American Interned in UT During WWII
Japanese Agricultural Colony at Keetley
Utahn Survives the Attack at Pearl Harbor
The USS Salt Lake City Made History
Utah Naval Officer Died a Hero's Death at Pearl Harbor
Rhymes Filled Children's Autograph Books
Utah's Rosies Upshot
Women Workers and Housing Issues
World War II Claimed the Lives of Four Utah Brothers

Preservation Office
Utah Division of State History
History Blazer, September 1995

Constructed in 1927 the Bigelow/Ben Lomond Hotel both architecturally and historically significant. It is an excellent and rare example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style in Utah--popular in America in the 1920s but seldom employed in the Beehive State. The building--located on the southeast corner of Ogden's most prominent downtown intersection, Washington Boulevard and 25th Street--is also the most notable example of the hotel type in Ogden. No other hotel in the history of the city has exceeded the Bigelow/Ben Lomond in number of rooms, height, or elegance. It ranks as one of three "grand hotels" built in Utah. The others are the Newhouse (demolished) and the former Hotel Utah, now the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, both in Salt Lake City. Historically, the Bigelow/Ben Lomond represents Ogden's era of growth, optimism, and economic development in the 1920s.

A. P. co-founder and president of the Ogden State Bank, decided in 1926 to raze the five-story 1891 Reed Hotel and build a modern, fireproof, first-class hotel on the site. Despite the construction of several smaller hotels and apartments in Ogden, the mid-1920s growth of the Junction City created a demand for a grand hotel and convention center. Soon a new corporation with 300 stockholders and a board of directors consisting of leading business figures had been formed.

The Ogden/Salt Lake City architectural firm of Hodgson and McClenahan was hired to draw up plans. Hodgson and McClenahan designed several other architectural landmarks in Ogden, including Peery's Egyptian Theatre, Ogden High School, the City and County Building, and the Regional Forest Service Building as well as several Prairie School homes in the Eccles Avenue Historic District.

Within a year the impressive Bigelow Hotel was complete. Its exuberantly and voluptuously eclectic style was a monument to the taste and business mentality of the time. Visitors were to be overwhelmed by the sophistication of Ogden's showplace, which included a coffee shop in the Arabian style, a ballroom that incorporated features of a Florentine palace, and a meeting room for businessmen's clubs recreated the "atmosphere of old Spain." The English Room was done completely in old paneling and was an adaptation of a room in Bromley Castle in England. The Shakespeare Room, with its fine murals by Utah artist LeConte Stewart, was intended to be the cultural highlight. The Georgian Room with its Adamesque ornamentation was strategically located across the mezzanine from a "splendid" ladies restroom "as feminine as one could imagine."

The exterior of the hotel featured ornamental terra cotta along the four-story facade of the base, the upper story of the ell, and the tower. The west and north elevations, facing Washington Boulevard and 25th Street, were highly ornamented. The hotel provided 350 guest rooms in the ell, plus dining space for 1,000, ballrooms, meeting and display rooms, lounges, restrooms, retail shops, and a bank in the four-story base. Kitchens, food storage, laundry, and the building's mechanical plant were located in the basement. The two-story tower was designed as a penthouse residence for the Bigelow family.

Soon after its completion the hotel was briefly the center of national attention during a convention of Western Democrats that resulted in the creation of a Western States "Smith for President" association. This signaled to national Democratic leaders the existence of a national constituency for Alfred E. Smith and was instrumental in the selection of Smith as the Democratic standard bearer in the 1928 presidential election.

In 1933 Marriner S. Eccles acquired the Bigelow, and the name was changed to the Ben Lomond Hotel, under which it operated for more than 40 years. The hotel later had several different owners, including Weber County which used it to house administrative services. In the mid-1980s the hotel was rehabilitated and became part of the Radisson chain. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

See National Register nomination form in Preservation Office, Utah Division of State History, Salt Lake City.

 

 

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