Monticello Hotel, Charlottesville, Va.
This linen postcard from the Asheville Post Card Company bears no description. Judging from the art deco fonts on the back, it was probably made in the mid-1930s. This particular card was among a stack of ten or so cards that were tucked into one of Kay Anthony’s albums; I had missed them but my wife noticed them a few days ago. Unlike the cards I knew about, these haven’t had a chance to air out and smell a little bit musty, but in general the cards are in pristine condition and have very vibrant colors. This card seems to be the exception; there’s some color fading as if portions of it had gotten damp at some point.
According to the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, “the Monticello Hotel opened in 1926, and in 1927 boasted of having the ‘largest searchlight in the world’ on its roof, which was claimed to be visible three hundred miles away. The light scanned the heavens over Charlottesville, and was often pointed at distant Monticello at night. Famous guests at the Monticello Hotel included Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, band leaders Tommy Dorsey and Guy Lombardo, writer Gertrude Stein, and movie stars Robert Taylor, Sterling Hayden, and Joan Blondell. The dining room of the Monticello Hotel was locally renowned until it closed in 1989 and was converted into office space. Today the hotel houses condominium apartments.” I’m glad the building is still there.