“She’s a grand old lady,” Silverado official says.
DEADWOOD, S.D. (11/8/2005) – Silverado Gaming Est. & Restaurant today reiterated its commitment to the restoration of the Historic Franklin Hotel, which the company purchased on Oct. 31.
“She’s a grand old lady, and she’s got a lot of character,” Silverado Vice President and Managing Partner Tom Rensch said. “And we’re really going to take care of her. We’ll always be committed to preserving that personality.”
According to Rensch, the Franklin Hotel has undergone a number of renovation projects in the past. One such project divided the hotel’s grand ballroom into the modern restaurant, covering the room’s original tin ceiling.
“There are several small historical details, like the tin ceiling next to the restaurant, that have been covered over by previous renovations. We want to uncover some of these things as we work to restore the hotel over the coming months,” Rensch said. “Those details seem small, but they give the Franklin the kind of Victorian charm and character for which Deadwood is known.”
Rensch said that Thurston Design Group, based in Rapid City, has been hired as the architect for the Franklin Hotel renovation. Thurston is responsible for a number of restoration and construction projects in Deadwood, including the Deadwood History & Information Center, located inside the 1897 Freemont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley train depot, and the Broadway Parking Structure.
“This will always be the Historic Franklin Hotel,” Rensch added. “And the emphasis is on ‘Historic.’ We know how much residents and visitors cherish the Franklin. It’s an institution, and people really do love her.”
Rensch noted that the company will be working closely with the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, which establishes strict guidelines for restoration and renovation to the city’s historic buildings.
The Franklin Hotel, long a landmark on Deadwood’s Main Street, opened June 4, 1903. Built in Greek Revival-style and unlike other buildings of the era, the Franklin treated guests to telephones, running water, radiant heat and electricity in each room. Built at a then-astounding cost of $100,000, its exceptional architecture soon attracted guests including President Theodore Roosevelt, John Wayne, Pearl Buck, and Babe Ruth. More recently, the hotel has accommodated the Kennedys, Mary Hart and country singers Willie Nelson and Big & Rich.