|City/Town: • Oklahoma City|
|Location Class: • Hotel/Motel|
|Year Built: • 1908 | Year Abandoned: • 1985|
|Historic Designation: • National Register of Historic Places|
|Status: • Restored|
|Photojournalist: • Billy Dixon • Michael Schwarz|
The Classic-style Marion Hotel was first built around 1904 as an apartment building but shortly after in 1908 was turned into a hotel. Forty-five rooms were rentable short or long term. Originally a beige-red brick, the three-story hotel was repainted white sometime in the 1940s. Bessie Haney, the former property holder, leased The Hotel Marion in 1946 for more than 30 years. She and her husband lived, slept, and worked at and for The Hotel Marion. While her husband passed in 1954, Bessie continued to run The Marion until her retirement in the late 1970s. The Marion stayed afloat for just a short while after closing in 1985. The building was boarded up and left degrading for almost thirty years. Until the hotel got a saving grace, someone saw the potential to bring it back as apartments.
Restoration of the abandoned Marion Hotel began sometime around 2012 by Lingo Construction. The building was in extremely bad shape at the start, in danger of collapsing in on itself putting a dent in the restoration plans more than once. The new life envisioned for the Marion is ten upscale apartments. The three facades and grand stairway inside were salvaged to leave the building as historically pristine as possible. During the renovation, the interior was gutted and each floor was rebuilt from the walls inward. The spiral staircase was suspended between two buildings across the street at what is known as Architectural DNA.
Article by AOK Photojournalist Emily Cowan.
Coffeen Oldsmobile Company and the Hotel Marion, photograph, March 1949; (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1120111/: accessed July 8, 2020), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.