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Remembering The Westholm

  • July 23, 2019

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.

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26 Comments on Remembering The Westholm

  • Ayomide says:
    July 25, 2019 at 11:15 PM

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

    Reply

  • Ella says:
    July 25, 2019 at 10:16 PM

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

    Reply

  • Maury Cheskes says:
    July 25, 2019 at 8:23 PM

    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.

    Reply

  • David Mureithi says:
    July 25, 2019 at 3:43 PM

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

    Reply

  • brainedet says:
    July 25, 2019 at 7:50 AM

    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.

    Reply

  • Karen says:
    July 25, 2019 at 6:16 AM

    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.

    Reply

  • Mercy Myra says:
    July 25, 2019 at 5:48 AM

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

    Reply

  • Sasha says:
    July 25, 2019 at 5:32 AM

    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.

    Reply

  • Carmela Lim says:
    July 25, 2019 at 5:30 AM

    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.

    Reply

  • miakayuuki2012 says:
    July 24, 2019 at 11:27 PM

    I would love to see this place at its prime but all is not lost. If this place can be restored I am sure it can be great again.

    Reply

  • jolly555 says:
    July 24, 2019 at 9:19 PM

    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.

    Reply

  • Sylvia says:
    July 24, 2019 at 7:17 PM

    The 25 images of the hotel look stunning. You sure did a great job with this one!!

    Reply

  • Storm says:
    July 24, 2019 at 7:16 PM

    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.

    Reply

  • Anderson says:
    July 24, 2019 at 7:14 PM

    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.

    Reply

  • Shatel says:
    July 24, 2019 at 7:12 PM

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

    Reply

  • Louis says:
    July 24, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    I think the historic hotel should be converted into a museum of sorts. It is so historical.

    Reply

  • Teddy says:
    July 24, 2019 at 7:09 PM

    What an amazing read. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply

  • Daphne says:
    July 24, 2019 at 5:46 PM

    Thomas you took such amazing photos of the Westholm hotel. Your work is a masterpiece!

    Reply

  • Oliver says:
    July 24, 2019 at 5:44 PM

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

    Reply

  • Patricia says:
    July 24, 2019 at 5:43 PM

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

    Reply

  • Meg W says:
    July 24, 2019 at 5:42 PM

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

    Reply

  • Roy says:
    July 24, 2019 at 5:41 PM

    The Westholm has earned its place in history. Very nice article too.

    Reply

  • Segun OGUNYEMI says:
    July 24, 2019 at 2:19 PM

    Thanks for the post. I hope the hotel be restored fully and for proper functioning. Thus, the possibility of restoration is high. Nice shot though….

    Reply

  • Oyeyipo Oladele says:
    July 24, 2019 at 2:16 PM

    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.

    Reply

  • Obalade Damilola says:
    July 24, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    This is an interesting read.. I hope the hotel could be restored though.. Nice piece

    Reply

  • Danielle M says:
    July 24, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    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.

    Reply

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