Temple of Music Service Building Lafayette High School
Hotel Touraine (Gothic High Rise) Mayer & Weill Building Providence Retreat

Hotel Touraine (Gothic High Rise) (1901-1902) 274 Delaware Avenue, southwest corner
of Johnson Park.

The Gothic was an alternative to ancient and Renaissance styles. Esenwein & Johnson embellished this steel-framed brick building with Gothic terra cotta details. Note the elaborate side entrance canopy (now gone) and the pinnacles along the roof. Originally designed as an apartment house, it opened as a hotel in 1902. The Touraine was named for the French province that was home to many of the famous Loire Valley chateaus. Esenwein & Johnson designed a four-story addition to this building in 1923-1924


Esenwein & Johnson also designed the rich Gothic interiors of the Hotel Touraine, including
the furniture. Note the elaborate wood paneling, murals and stained glass.

Hotel Touraine Dining rooms. Photographs ca. 1905

The plan of the Hotel Touraine is “E” shaped, with open areas known as light courts, a ommon feature of tall buildings during the period. Light courts allowed for the maximum amount of light and cross-ventilation within the building. The typical hotel room of the period did not include a private bathroom. Guests shared bathrooms in the halls. Ellsworth M. Statler soon changed this situation.


Mayer & Weill Building (1898-1899) 485 Main St, northeast corner of Mohawk St.

The Renaissance goes vertical here, on a brick-clad, steel frame structure ornamented with
classical terra cotta details. This building, the longtime home of Bing & Nathan, was constructed in the remarkably short time of three months, January-March 1899. It was demolished in 1977 for a Burger King. The tall building in the distance at right is Sinclair, Rooney & Company on Washington Street, designed by Esenwein & Johnson in 1909.

Providence Retreat (1905-1908) 2157 Main Street, northeast corner of Kensington Avenue.

Esenwein & Johnson continued to produce traditional buildings like this neoclassical structure
at the same time they experimented with architecture not based on historical forms. The Sisters of Charity built Providence Retreat as an asylum for the mentally ill, thus the bars on most of the windows. It later became Sisters Hospital. Most of this structure was demolished for new construction during the 1960s, but a portion still remains, buried deep inside the Sisters Hospital complex.


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