Just west of the Jeffris Theater, Hotel Monterey rose in the summer of 1929 on a site previously occupied by the Grand Hotel, razed in May of that year. 93 Though it has nothing to do with theaters other than sharing a wall with the Jeffris, when I found the 1930 Gazette front-page story about its opening and the "great advancement" it represented, I thought it should be included. In addition, some Monterrey postcards I purchased on ebay include period views of the Jeffris.
Hotel Monterey's development was guided by chamber of commerce members such as George Parker, R.M. Bostwick, and H.B Bliss. 94 Even with that financial clout and business savvy, the City of Janesville was required to "...purchase $100,000 in second mortgage bonds." 95 This equals $1.3 million in 2015 dollars.96 Capitalists securing government help is not new.
The hotel had "150 rooms with bath" according to a postcard description that also claimed it was "Southern Wisconsin's Finest." It opened in 1930, the first full year of the Great Depression, and would remain the city's premiere place to stay at least until the Holiday Inn opened in 1961.
Light brown brick with stair-stepped, white stone accents along the roof and black tile facing at street level gave Hotel Monterey a mildly Art Deco appearance. I always heard it referred to as the "Monterey Hotel," but early newspaper articles put "Hotel" first, and postcards show "Hotel Monterey" in neon on a large sign at the corner of Milwaukee and High Streets. However, a canopy above the main entrance in a 1950s photograph (below) I found online, credited to Heinz Zeutschel, shows the name "Monterey Hotel" on the canopy over the main entrance.
Hotel Monterey circa early thirties. The Jeffris, barely visible
beyond the hotel's east edge still has its 1924 facade.
Courtesy of Hedberg Public Library. Janesville, Wisconsin
The styling of the cars indicates this postcard view of Hotel Monterey dates to the middle
to late 1930s but prior to 1937 when the Jeffris was given an Art Deco-streamline
facelift. Purchased on ebay; no copyright listed.
Matchbook, probably circa 1934 based on the "new" preceding cantina, taproom, and
cocktail lounge in the left and center panels. Alcohol Prohibition was abolished
in December, 1933.97 Purchased on ebay.
Tower topping northwest corner of Hotel Monterey
ŠTed Schaar 2016
Postcard view of Grand Hotel, Hotel Monterey's predecessor, circa 1910.
Purchased on ebay.
Monterey Hotel, 1955.
Credited to Heinz Zeutschel 97.1
Sculptural detail on Hotel
ŠTed Schaar 2016