St. Cloud in Osceola County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Hunter Arms Hotel
Following World War I, the United States economy was thriving. Florida’s population skyrocketed as cheap land, combined with the improved roads and railways, drew northern tourists and developers to the state. In 1925, Ohio mausoleum builder Grover C. Hunter sought to take advantage of the trends and traveled to St. Cloud. By 1926, he hired Ohio architect Harlan Jones to design a hotel and Ohio contractor W.A. Steffle to build it. This construction forced the relocation of the existing Bon Air hotel and the demolition of the Peckham Building, nicknamed the “New York Stores.” The initial cost was estimated at $100,000, but rose to $250,000 when work began. Jones designed it in the Mediterranean Revival style. His intention was to create what was locally known as a “Spaniflora” atmosphere, which was popular in early St. Cloud. Other businesses on New York Avenue had incorporated similar design elements. The original exterior of the hotel featured walls built of brick and steel, and finished with gray stucco. The “Spaniflora” elements extended to the interior with Spanish tile floors, a coquina rock fireplace,
Opening in 1927, the Hunter Arms Hotel operated only during the winter, and guests paid a flat seasonal rate that included a room and two meals a day. The second floor originally offered 44 guest rooms, while the first floor provided space at the front of the building for businesses. Hunter originally built the hotel intending to sell it, but the 1929 stock market crash and the subsequent Great Depression changed his plan. Hunter’s wife, Nona, took over operation of the hotel following his death in 1953, and managed it for many years. The hotel building changed ownership several times and slowly fell into disrepair. It was purchased in 1994 by Ann Young and Sandi Pinkert, who began restoring the building and converted it into a bed-and-breakfast. In 2016, ADMC International bought the building and continued the restoration. Rooms were updated with modern amenities, but the building retained its historic characteristics. The Hunter Arms Hotel occupies ¾ of a city block, and is considered a key element in the revitalization of St. Cloud’s downtown.
Erected 2017 by St. Cloud Main Street, City of St. Cloud, Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Jr. and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-999.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1927.
Location. 28° 14.906′ N, 81° 17.008′ W. Marker is in St. Cloud, Florida, in Osceola County. Marker is on New York Avenue just south of 10th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1029 New York Avenue, Saint Cloud FL 34769, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Veterans of All Wars (within shouting distance of this marker); War Heroes From The Past And Present (within shouting distance of this marker); The Saint Cloud Sugar Belt Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Seminole Land Investment Company (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Great Fire of 1917 (about 300 feet away); Four Firsts (about 300 feet away); Hamilton Disston’s Sugarcane Mill (about 300 feet away); St. Cloud Roll of Honor World War One (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Cloud.
Also see . . . Hunter Arms Hotel. (Submitted on August 4, 2019, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2019, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 565 times since then and 129 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 4, 2019, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.