Walker commissioned his architects to design a hotel to accommodate
his business visitors arriving by rail. The Crown Inn was built
directly across from the beautiful Lake Erie & Detroit River Railroad
depot, also by Mason & Rice, completed just two years earlier, but
demolished by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in 1957.
gables surmount angled oriel windows, and three dormers illuminate
the attic which once housed hotel staff. The original slate roof
was removed in 1991. Hotel rooms have been converted to apartments,
and commercial units occupy the former office and dining room. Regrettably,
the front facade was sandblasted in 1973, resulting in significant
deterioration of the brick surface, permitting moisture to penetrate
causing further spalling during freeze-thaw cycles.
understand this effect, one need only examine the untouched side
facades which remain in good condition. The Queen Victoria diamond
Jubilee fountain (in the early photo) was donated to the Town by
the Walkers in 1897, and moved to Willisteadís grounds in 1958 after
the beautiful train station was razed.
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