|City/Town: • Nowata
|Location Class: • Hotel/Motel
|Built: • 1909 | Abandoned: • N/A
|Historic Designation: • Abandoned Atlas Foundation Contribution to POK Most Endangered List (2022)
|Status: • Abandoned
|Photojournalist: • Billy Dixon • David Linde • Johnny Fletcher
The Savoy Hotel was a magnificent grand structure for architectural standards back then and even now. Constructed in 1909 the elegant hotel boasted sixty-two rooms, a telegraph office, billiards, dining room, pantry, and a kitchen. Being as Nowata was a prominent oil boom town with a higher population turnout than most boomtowns reaching over 2,000 just before the hotel was built. This made a majority of travelers that stayed at the hotel businessmen and workers of the oil and gas industry.
Shortly after being built the patrons of the hotel created a ball team, most had experience with Eastern college teams. The Savoy was soon after sold in 1912 for a price of $85,000 to J.P. Hyatt and the general manager Floyd Dyer would retain his position. It wasn’t but a year later that the ownership changed again to J.R. Cruff after he traded J.P. Hyatt 9,000 acres of land in Texas for the hotel. It was under his ownership that the Savoy really took off, in 1915-16 when radium water was discovered from a well drilled in the town. Talks of health benefits, anti-aging properties and other advantages circulated the town. It was announced that if the citizens could raise $2,000 the owner of the Savoy Hotel would turn the establishment into a bathhouse. The bathhouse had the latest and most modern apparatus with bathing experts in charge. The mineral baths could allegedly heal rheumatism, stomach trouble, malaria, nervous trouble, and skin diseases.
In the 1920s the building fell into multiple hands, including Messrs A.A. and Henry K. Then onto F.E. Crandall who was responsible for giving the hotel $15,000 worth of refurnishing and decorations. Onto N.O. Tate in 1925 who installed 16 & 8-inch electric fans in the dining area. For a short period in the 1940s, the third floor of the Savoy Hotel was used as a temporary hospital during the ongoing battle to have their own county hospital built, the enterprise ended in 1946.
Throughout its life as a functioning establishment, it was bought, sold, and renovated numerous times. Unfortunately with the declining population and tourism of the town, the hotel was officially abandoned in the early-mid 2000s. The most recent go at renovating the defunct hotel being around 2009 when the ‘Save the Savoy!’ was launched by the owner Jay Mitchell. A lot of work had gone into constructing an entire new roof on the building but tragedy struck the project when a lone construction worker fell 40 feet from the roof. He was discovered by a passerby and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. A lawsuit was later filed for $75,000 in damages by the deceased family. Since then work has not been done on the historic hotel leaving it to sit and deteriorate.
Gallery Below of The Savoy Hotel
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