Thomas W.P. Slatin photographs the historic Westholm Hotel of the Catskills, located in Stamford, New York.
In the late 1800’s The Westholm Hotel opened its doors to become known as one of the most intriguing and majestic hotels in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York. Closing its doors in the late 1990’s, many have speculated as to when the once iconic hotel might open its doors again. According to photographer Thomas Slatin, having been given exclusive access to photograph the property, he indicates that the current owners have conveyed to him that they have hopes of restoring the property to its original splendor. “This property has a lot of potential, and when restored, I could see it reopening as a hotel, a conference center, a museum or a wedding venue,” states Slatin. Continuing, “The property was a major part of my childhood after my parents bought a house in Stamford, New York in 1985. I had outstanding dinners here frequently as a young child with my family, so to have an all access pass to explore and photograph the interior as well as the exterior, brought back so many amazing childhood memories.” Slatin also conveyed that while he explored the historic hotel, he noticed that “some of the furniture is located in precisely the same locations within the hotel, as it was before the hotel closed.”
Thomas Slatin photographed the property last week utilizing his Canon Digital 5D Mark IV camera and a portable utility light to photograph the interior of the property. The hotel lobby includes the original murals on the walls, which were created by LaMont Adelbert Warner, an American artist, designer and teacher. LaMont Adelbert Warner was born in Stamford, New York in 1876. Warner’s murals, within the hotel remain and are “still beautiful but they are fading and need to be restored sooner rather than later,” according to Slatin.
The Westholm Hotel is described by Catskillsearch.com as an “irreplaceable piece of history built in 1890, during the time when Stamford’s many grand hotels flourished with tourists for social gatherings and entertainment. Concluding, “It is one of the few remaining glorious hotels of this region.” The Westholm Hotel is comprised of three floors, two of which contain approximately 40 rooms. In addition to the third floor, there is a partially finished basement. There are three buildings in total. The front two buildings are connected by a kitchen. There is a third building in the back which is two stories and is being taken down,” according to Slatin. The hotel consists of amazing oak woodwork and doors; of course, the murals of LaMont Adelbert Warner, a floating staircase, much of the original furniture as described and documented by Slatin, and the original clawfoot bathtubs.
Slatin discussed his desire to photograph this property for many years, “never giving up the hope” to do so. Stating, “I had contacted the property owners as well as the real estate agencies in the past, yet it wasn’t until recently that the current owners of The Westholm Hotel gave their consent for me to photograph the property. They accompanied me to the property, which was great.” Slatin explored the property and obtained more than 200 photos, selecting only 25. He concluded, “most were unusable due to the lack of proper light available inside the iconic hotel at its most interior points.” The 25 images selected by Slatin, shared publicly with mutual consent from owners of The Westholm Hotel are available on Thomas W.P. Slatin’s Instagram page @tomslatin, and on the Facebook page for The Westholm Hotel. There are several images where natural light assisted in providing a “hopeful feel to the photos.” The glimmering light shining through the windows for some of the chosen photographs, “created a bit of an ethereal effect,” according to one of Thomas Slatin’s colleagues. Concluding, “One can sense the possibility of restoration and renewal for The Westholm.” “One day this memorable and historic hotel may be returned to its original splendor,” concludes Slatin. It is my hope for The Westholm Hotel.”
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