Hotel Belvedere

Commercial / Pennsylvania

The Hotel Belvedere was an abandoned 28-room hotel in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The inn was constructed in 1905 by Joseph Giannini and later became an apartment building before being mostly abandoned in the 1970s. It burned on July 23, 2019.


History

The Hotel Belvedere was constructed by Joseph Giannini 2 in Apollo in 1905. 1 3 Each of the 28 guest rooms featured oak fireplaces and mirrors. The first floor featured a saloon which was turned into an ice cream parlor in 1920 after the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages. After the prohibition was repealed in 1933, the space was used as a candy store and then the Tin Hut tavern. 3

The Hotel Belvedere became Giannini’s after the building was converted into apartments by Modesto Giannini in 1940. 3

Lanna Planitzer and her boyfriend, Jon Humphrey, purchased the former Belvedere in 1979, making a $10,000 down payment on the property and $1,000 to get a liquor license out of escrow. 1 But the couple split and it was not until 1983 that Planitzer was able to reclaim ownership of the Belvedere. By that point, many of the rooms had become uninhabitable because of leaking pipes, and public health inspectors required cost-prohibitive upgrades to the kitchen, bar area, and coal furnaces.

Inspections conducted in 2016 and 2017 determined that the hotel had deteriorated to the point that it was unsafe to occupy as it had extensive water damage that led to broken and rotted floor joists. 4

The former Hotel Belvedere burned to the ground shortly after midnight on July 24, 2019. 4


Gallery

Photos from Derek Dibrell:


Sources

  1. Richards, Rhonda. “Room Service.” Pittsburgh Press, 29 Jun. 1986, pp. V1-V6.
  2. “1816-1916; History of Apollo, Pennsylvania: The Year of a Hundred Years.” 1816-1916; History of Apollo, Pennsylvania: The Year of a Hundred Years, by Thomas James Henry, News-Record Publishing, 1916, p. 105.
  3. “Hotel Belvedere; Giannini Hotel (Tin Hut).” Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  4. Larussa, Tony. “Fire destroys historic Belvedere Hotel in Oklahoma Borough.” TribLive [Pittsburgh], 24 Jul. 2019.