Save Hotel Belvedere
Save Hotel Belvedere
The historic Hotel Belvedere at 502 Lincoln street was built in 1917, just a few years after our beautiful Carnegie Library. The Roseville Historical Society recognizes it as a historically significant building. For over a year, they have been working non-stop on a big exhibit and event (currently postponed due to the pandemic) celebrating its rich history. Alexander B. McRae, early Roseville pioneer, sold this land to Alex L. Bell, who had the Belvedere built by Michael & Stoffels. John M. Stoffels, one of the most active building contractors in Roseville and Placer County during the 1920s-1940s, also built the Veterans' Memorial Hall in Auburn, The J. C. Penney building on Vernon Street, Cochrane's Chapel of The Roses, and the Citizens' Bank. The Lumber was provided by Adams Lumber Co., managed by Roy Matheny- who lived at the Belvedere in 1925. At one of his company's free annual Rose Theater parties, he vowed "that his company would always be found at the forefront of the upbuilding and boosting of the City of Roses." He went on to operate Matheny Bros. Lumber Co. and became Vice President of our Local Building & Loan Assoc. The Press Tribune stated that he and his brother had "staked their all on Roseville's Future, having recently opened one of the best and most modernly equipped lumber yards in the state." This Lumber Co. was sold to Diamond Match Co. and they ended up purchasing G. W. Lohse's Real Estate & Insurance Business.
From it's very beginning, the Craftsman-style hotel hosted upstanding individuals. Boasting of hot water in every room, the Belvedere was the higher-end place to stay in Roseville when it was built, proudly called an "ornament to Lincoln Street" by the Roseville Press Tribune in the week of its grand opening. We can see, based on guest books, census documents, and newspaper articles that the Belvedere was occupied by successful Engineers, Conductors, Trainmen and important business men who came to Roseville to work with the Southern Pacific Railroad and Pacific Fruit Express. Even the first owner of the Belvedere, Alexander L. Bell, was a Conductor from New York. The different women who lived at and owned the Belvedere contributed much to our community, taking leadership roles in groups such as the Ladies' Aid Society.
Mrs. Pearl Manring, who operated the hotel for 35 years until her passing in 1989, was a member of the Roseville Historical Society. Under her name, the Belvedere Hotel has been listed as a Major Contributor to the Old Town Roseville Historic District since 1981. According to the architectural report done last year, the building is at the very least a Supportive Contributor to the Old Town Roseville Hist. Dist. Reasons listed in this report for why the building shouldn't keep its Major listing, are that it's obstructed by trees (which would be easily pruned or removed), obstructed by the Moose Lodge, (which it's much taller than) and that the building's original signs are gone. The new owner, in the past year, allowed someone to remove and sell those signs without a permit to do so. Both signs ahve been purchased and donated to the Historical Society and could be reused or replicated. The building is listed on the RHS website. The Carnegie Museum holds much evidence of its important history and has made it clear, to all who ask, that the building is significant. Up until very recently, her daughter Dolores lived in the Hotel and only left to be in a nursing care facility. Since it was sold in June, 2019, it's been confirmed by a building inspector that the building is in surprisingly good shape and has very little asbestos to remove. The roof is new and the building is made with sturdy redwood, which has made it highly resistant to weather damage over time. Those who were outbid in 2019 and so many others had and continue to have hopes and plans to restore the Belvedere. We all know that the hotel is restoreable.
Now the new owner, Old Town Roseville LLC, has officially submitted a plan to demolish this historically intact, century-old building to build condos in its place. We ask that you not approve this plan. Plenty of new housing is under construction just up the street. Seeing as the Belvedere Hotel is on a 9,975 sqft lot, a compromise could be that condos or other buildings be built on the land around it, with the historic hotel as a restored feature adding value and interest. It could be restored to be something like Sacramento's "Kupros Crafthouse," an office space, event space, or so many other things. There are plenty of possibilities. We ask that this current plan, involving the hotel's demolition, be turned down in light of the Belvedere's local historical significance, Major Contributor listing for the Old Town Roseville Historical Dist. and the overwhelming interest of our community in restoring it. We would absolutely come together to make it happen. The owner has other options, but we don't have another Hotel Belvedere. This building is a piece of our history we are proud of and have much hope for. All we ask is that you to hear the voices of Roseville locals and simply not approve this plan.
Recently, The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, The National Hotel in Nevada City (both restorations being funded by Acme Hospitality in Santa Barbara), The Gilded Drifter Inn of Loyalton (the owner was inspired by Hotel Belvedere to purchase it), and Park Victorian in Auburn have been successfully and lovingly restored by their communities. We in Roseville deserve to see our very own beloved and irreplaceable Belvedere Hotel brought back to life as well.
*Photo provided by the Roseville Historical Society*