The following article was written by Lisa Pellegrene, and was originally published in the July 2019 edition of A Time And A Place Magazine.

Afternoon Light

Opening its doors in the late 19th century, and in operation for most of the 20th century, The Westholm Hotel definitely has earned its place in history. The Westholm Hotel was located on Main Street in Stamford, nestled among the Catskill Mountains, Lake Utsayantha, and Mt. Utsayantha, which represent part of the natural beauty of Stamford.

The Westholm Hotel was one of many hotels and resorts in the area which thrived during their heyday. The Westholm Hotel was located in close proximity to a railroad station, making it one of the top travel destinations in the region until its closure.

According to local historian Fred Wickert, there was a sign placed in front of the hotel for years which simply stated, “Teddy Roosevelt slept here.” Known for its welcoming ambiance, this hotel among others were representative of the economic vitality of the community.

Renowned local artist, the late LaMont Adelbert Warner, created stunning murals on the walls of the idyllic hotel documenting the natural beauty of the area. Warner, an artist, designer and teacher, was born in Stamford in 1876. One of the murals was able to be taken out and restored, the others were part of the building infrastructure and were beyond repair.

The current proprietress of the property, Victoria Filonenko purchased the property due to here appreciation of the history it represents. After remaining dormant for many years, the hotel could not be restored.

Filonenko teamed up with photographer Thoimas W.P. Slatin to do one final walk through of the property to capture images of the hotel. One of the photographs he obtained was the last photographic documentation of the Lamont Adelbert Warner mural as it stood in the hotel for many decades.

Victoria Filonenko hopes to rebuild on this property, utilizing some of the woodwork and fixtures which could be salvaged from the historic property.

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. Is is one of the few remaining glorious hotels of this region.” ()

The hotel boasts amazing oak woodwork and doors; and of course the Warner murals, a floating staircase, much of the original furniture as described and documented by Slatin, and the original clawfoot bathtubs.

The property on which The Westholm Hotel was located is part of the historic Churchill Park, which is on the National Historic Registry.

Slatin recalls, “I attended many dinners here with my parents, Dr. Harvey L. Slatin and Anne P. Slatin, who were quite active in the community, and we always felt welcome.” Concluding, “this was what the hotel represented. a welcoming and beautiful environment. I have many fond memories from childhood visiting the hotel to see my childhood friend whose family owned The Westholm Hotel for a period of time.”

Slatin discussed his desire to photograph this property for many years, “never giving up the hope” to do so. “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 gave their consent for me to photograph the property. They accompanied me to the property, which was great.”

Slatin explored the property and shot 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 the owners, 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.

“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.”

Readers can visit the hotel’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestholmHotel for updates on future developments at this property. An entire portfolio of photographs obtained in May of 2019 can be found at www.tomslatin.com.

26 thoughts on “Remembering The Westholm

  1. It’s very sad to know that this wonderfull hotel couldn’t be restored, I hope some pieces cab be saved abd preserved when building the new hotel.

  2. Nice piece of writeup. How pathetic it is to hear this sad story of this hotel not being restored. I am sure one of this days, favour will find them.

  3. Congratulations Thomas on doing such a great job of photographing the hotel. Keep up the awesome work.

  4. The fact that Teddy Roosevelt spent a night in this hotel is very huge. It’s truly a historical monument!

  5. It’s sad that a restoration was not possible. Luckily we have photographs to forever remember it with.

  6. The Westholm hotel will surely never be forgotten. It has a special place in the hearts of many.

  7. I hope whoever bought the property takes good care of it at the very least. It is a great part of the history of the town.

  8. I bet the Westholm hotel was a true beauty in its hey days. It must have been a great source of pride for the town residents.

  9. You did well by capturing this hotel for history. At least I and others novice to this have been able to read about this historic hotel.

  10. Too bad that this hotel is no longer serving customers. There are many other hotels with roots from early 1900s and are still standing today.

  11. Great work as usual. Bringing this used to be beautiful hotel into focus again. I hope someone decides to renovate it to its former state.

  12. I love the design of the wall and the color itself. Look so cool and relaxing, yet at the same time bright enough.

  13. I also hope the hotel will be renovated to go back to the way it used to be. But this photos already provide some hope that someone might just see them and think in that direction.

  14. This is really history at it’s best, never read or hesrd about westholm hotel until now. But it was nice reading about it as one of the best hotel then in time in it’s heydays.

  15. I do remember the hotel. Also the mural. It’s something not forgetting. It’s a good move to restore the place.

  16. The Westhom Hotel sounds truly irreplaceable and it’s great that Tom and Victoria Filonenko are keeping its memory alive. I’d love to get a more in depth look of the clawfoot bathtubs and ancient Warner murals. Thanks for this great dedication piece. I hope there will be further efforts in restoring this epic monument.

  17. Thank you for sharing this article. Westholm hotel must have been a very beautiful hotel before. Lots of memories indeed are kept there forever.

  18. The hotel is quite luxurious but yet abandoned. I hope to see all these beautiful features restored.

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