Corner of Cherry and Third Street: Then & Now

If you’ve driven along North Cherry Street recently, you’ve seen the construction on the southeast corner of Cherry and Third Streets.  The building that lately housed the Piedmont Opera was demolished and cleared away, and new construction began shortly afterwards.

Before 1910, this property belonged to Mayor Oscar B. Eaton.   In the 1910 city directory, this property was listed as “under construction.”  Oscar Eaton had relocated to Patterson Avenue at the corner of Graham.  The previous house was likely demolished in order to build a “new” Frances Hotel on the corner.  The Frances Hotel was previously located at 110 1/2 West Fourth Street.

Above is a 1911 advertisement for the “new” Frances Hotel.  The room rates are $2.00, $2.50, and $3.00 per day, and rooms are available with or without a bath.  Also, automobiles can be used for free to carry guests to the train station.  The proprietor of the hotel is Mrs. Rosa Young.  In 1911, the other hotels in town are Hanes House (Main Street), Hotel Carolina (110 1/2 W. Fourth; former location of Hotel Frances), Hotel Neil (Liberty Street), Hotel Webster (Third Street & Chestnut Street), Phoenix Hotel (Liberty Street), Winston Hotel (Trade Street), and Zinzendorf Hotel (Main Street).

The Frances Hotel opened in 1910,  and was built under the supervision of Colonel H. Montague.  Colonel Montague, a lawyer,  came to Winston in 1886.  He began to have problems with his eyesight and changed his practice from courtroom litigation to office procedures, such as negotiating loans.  The hotel was designed to have 40 rooms, all well-lighted and ventilated.  Also, the hotel catered to families and select boarders.

The Frances Hotel was well-situated on Cherry Street.  Right across Third Street was the almost-new Carnegie Library.  Across Cherry Street was the First Presbyterian Church, which was beside the Cherry Street High School (aka Winston High School), and the YMCA was on the corner of Cherry and W. Fourth Street.  Cherry Street consisted mostly of large and beautiful residences at that time.  In fact, Colonel Montague lived at 131 S. Cherry Street, surrounded by neighbors such as Starbuck, Nissen, Powell, Shaffner, Ogburn, Blair, Fries, and Gray.

By 1959, several business occupied the Frances Hotel building and the land was sold to the Northwestern Bank.  The Frances Hotel was demolished and a new building was constructed between 1964 and 1965.  A parking deck was built earlier on the corner of Cherry and Second Streets.  The Northwestern Bank built their main office at this location, 235 N. Cherry Street.  However, this was not the first Forsyth County or Winston-Salem location for Northwestern Bank.  A Clemmons branch bank opened in 1960 and a full-service bank opened at Reynolda Manor Shopping Center in 1963.

The Northwestern Bank building stood long after the Northwestern Bank was acquired by First Union National Bank in 1985.  The building was occupied by a variety of groups, including the Piedmont Opera and real estate companies.

Today, construction is underway for a new 119-room Hampton Inn & Suites on this corner property.  As you can see from the “now” photo, there is much construction to take place before the opening date.  Once again the property will welcome and house visitors to Winston-Salem.

Black and white images are courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.  The color image is by Molly Grogan Rawls.

Stay tuned for the next delicious post on December 15th (Cheesecake Christmas Trees) and the next historical post on December 22nd.


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