Aurora Hotel • Leland Hotel
Downtown Heritage Tour
The Aurora Hotel was the City's first large hotel, and for many years, its tallest building. It was erected in 1917 on the site of a mill race and swimming hole. The Georgian style, fireproof building was designed by H. Ziegler Dietz and constructed of reinforced concrete, 5,000 barrels of cement, and 150,000 bricks. The cornice is sheet metal.
The Aurora Hotel features a two-story dining area cantilevered over the Fox River. Both building entrances are capped with double-cut limestone balconies and stone balustrades. Both the Aurora and Leland Hotels were owned by the Gosselin family from 1937 until the late 1970s.
The 22-story Aurora-Leland Hotel (Leland Tower) was built at a cost of $3.1 million from a design by Anker Sveere Graven and Arthur Guy Mayger. When erected in 1928, it was the tallest building in Illinois outside of Chicago. This "modern adaptation of the Italian Romanesque style" incorporated terra cotta details and animal sculptures. All 206 hotel rooms featured private baths and telephones. The Leland housed radio station WMRO, the Sky Club, and the Rathskeller Bar and Grill. The Sky Club was a restaurant and dance club, located on the top floor of the building; it remained a social hub in Aurora through the 1960s.
This photo of the Aurora Hotel [on left side of marker] was taken sometime between 1926-1929.
This photo [on the right side of the marker] shows the Leland Hotel under construction in 1927. It opened as the Hotel Leland in 1928. The building immediately to the south was the Loyal Order of Moose, Aurora Lodge #400 building; it later became the Isle Theatre, and was demolished in the late 1980s.
Photo Courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society
The Aurora Hotel
has been placed on the
of Historic Places
by the United States
Department of the Interior
Originally constructed 1917
Architect: H. Ziegler Dietz
North Island Apartments
Developers: Harold D. Rider and Brad Mathes
Architect: Carl R. Klimek & Associates
Location. 41° 45.498′ N, 88° 18.897′ W. Marker is in Aurora, Illinois, in Kane County. Marker is at the intersection of Galena Boulevard Click for map. Marker and hotels are on Stolp Island in the Fox River. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 North Stolp Avenue, Aurora IL 60506, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Leland Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Paramount Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); Aurora Silverplate Manufacturing Co. (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joseph and Samuel McCarty (about 500 feet away); German-American Bank Building • American National Bank (about 700 feet away); Aurora National Bank Building (about 700 feet away); BPO Elk's Club Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aurora Vietnam Veteran Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Aurora.
Also see . . .
1. Stolp Island National Register Historic District. (Submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Hotel Aurora National Register Nomination. (Submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Leland Tower. (Submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
4. Leland Tower Apartments. (Submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
5. Hotel Aurora. (Submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 109 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.