Returning Franklin Hotel to its original glory
When the Franklin Hotel opened on June 4, 1903, it was one of the largest buildings in Deadwood. Its grand scale was enhanced by a parapet and flag pole that extended 25 feet (7.6 meters) above the roofline. Like the rest of the hotel, the parapet was built from hydraulic-pressed brick brought in from Saint Louis, stone accents quarried locally in the Black Hills, and painted wood. In the early 1900s, a large pennant emblazoned with the words "THE FRANKLIN" flew from the top, ensuring that visitors to Deadwood's central business district knew exactly where to find the town's preeminent hotel.
After the onset of the Great Depression, the hotel was converted into an apartment building. It isn't known exactly when the parapet was removed, but it appears to have disappeared in the late 1930s or early 1940s. It was never replaced.
Until now. Thanks to a partnership with the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, the Silverado-Franklin Historic Gaming Complex is embarking on a restoration of the parapet and flag pole that has been missing for at least 70 years. The new parapet will be a close replica of the original, and will be built from matching cast stone, brick, and fiberglass.
Stone, Devoted to the Quarrying and Cutting of Stone for Architectural Uses, Volume 26. May 1903.
The Gold Belt Cities: Deadwood & Environs. 1988.