This photo, taken in the early 1920s, shows a group of Yellow Cab drivers in front of the New Commercial Hotel, which was once located at 102-104 N. Academy St., Janesville, about a block from the railroad station.
Yellow Cab Co. started operating here in 1922 and had its headquarters at the hotel. Another taxi service, the Yellow Cab and Transfer Co., was in business at the same time.
The New Commercial Hotel began its life as the Railroad Hotel. Adam Holt, the hotel’s owner, bought the property in 1836, a year after Janesville was founded, but didn’t build on it until much later. The earliest mention of the hotel was in an 1889 Gazette issue.
Oliver Grant bought the hotel in 1910. In 1916, he expanded it and renamed it the New Commercial Hotel.
“The new section was built with the possibilities of future in mind and was sturdy enough to serve as the foundation for three additional floors,” according to a story from The Gazette’s archives.
The original building included six bowling alleys and 50 rooms.
With 100 trains coming through the city every day, the hotel was a popular spot.
Curtis Grant, Oliver’s son, eventually took over operations at the hotel. In 1928, he suggested that his hotel become a new stop for the Union Bus.
For some time, the Janesville City Council had been “agitating the removal of the present bus stand from the business district,” according to Gazette archives.
“Too much valuable parking space is taken up by buses loading and unloading” in front of downtown shops and businesses, council members said.
The hotel was demolished in 1966.