The above photo of the Monterey Hotel, 15 N. High St., Janesville, was taken around 1933, three years after the hotel opened.
The opening was a significant event in the city’s history. The Janesville Gazette published a special section devoted to it on March 27, 1930, two days before its public grand opening.
The headline announced, ‘Hotel Seen as Big City Asset: Citizens universally happy over fulfillment of long felt need.’
‘Universally happy’ seems a trifle strong, but certainly the city’s business leaders were cheering about it.
George S. Parker, the founder of Parker Pen, said the hotel ‘looks fine, is fine and matches up with the better class of hotels in larger cities.’
The hotel, he said, had all the modern conveniences, including “…beds so good that the man who sleeps on one is pretty sure to forget his trouble, so that the world on the morning following looks to him like a nice, big, red, rosy apple.”
In the lower left corner of the photo is the Jeffris Theater’s marquee, announcing a film starring Claudette Colbert and Fredric March. Based on information from The Gazette’s archives, it’s likely that the film was “The Sign of the Cross.”
In 1960, John and Jacqueline Kennedy stayed at the Monterey while on a presidential campaign trip.
The Monterey was built at the former location of the Grand Hotel, according to the Rock County Historical Society.
The building has been empty for 25 years. Owner Jim Grafft recently submitted a list of planned repairs, which was prompted by a raze-or-repair order the city issued Sept. 10. The order gave Grafft 30 days to agree to repairs or the building would be razed.