Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Hospitality on Courthouse Square
Streets surrounding Courthouse Square were the site of most of Ann Arbor's largest hotels from the 1830s until 1990. Cook's Hotel was the first of five that have occupied the site before you. It was followed in 1871 by the larger "Cook House," a temperance hotel for 37 years. Renamed the "Allenel" in 1911 to honor town founder John Allen, it was demolished in 1964 to make way for the Sheraton, later the Ann Arbor Inn. The Allenel, a popular watering spot for local businessmen, politicians, and attorneys, was frequently used for banquets by local groups. It was a favorite lodging for visitors. Distinguished guests stayed in suites on the ornate top floor. The Philadelphia Orchestra stopped there during the annual May Festival.
By 1930 many downtown hospitality businesses were owned by members of Ann Arbor's Greek community. Along Huron Street they included two lunch counters, an ice cream parlor, the Candyland sweet shop, the Allenel (owned by Angelo Poulos, who had built the Michigan Theater in 1927), and the Huron Hotel and Cafe at Fourth Avenue. At a 1933 meeting in the Allenel (attended by Archbishop Athenagoras, later Patriarch
The coming of the automobile dramatically changed the streetscape and eventually moved most hotels to highways on the outskirts of town.
Top image caption:
Allenel Hotel and Huron streetscape
Top image, left inset caption:
Cook's Hotel, ca. 1851
Bottom image caption:
Merchants Credit Association banquet in the dining room of the Allenel Hotel, 1913.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA)
In Memory of Nicholas Peter Banos
James and Linda Curtis
Kiwanis Club of Downtown Ann Arbor
In Memory of Nicholas Maheris
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
In Memory of William G. and Andriana Skinner
Erected by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 16.892′ N, 83° 44.898′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of East Huron Street and Main StreetTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Michigan Becomes a State (a few steps from this marker); Building New Around Old: The Construction of the Present Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Centers for Communications on Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Interurbans to Buses (about 300 feet away); From Horses to Cars: Early Autos, Service and Parts (about 400 feet away); Three Generations of Metzgers on Washington Street (about 500 feet away); The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Site 7b. MAIN and HURON: northeast corner. Marker on the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit site. (Submitted on October 10, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 9, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.