The Vernon Manor, constructed in 1924 and modeled after the Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, England, was one of the premier hotels in Cincinnati, Ohio. Located on one of Cincinnati’s famous Seven Hills, the Manor offered an escape from the bustling downtown and riverfront and had a reputation for being “the place to stay” for musicians visiting or performing in the city.
It’s history wasn’t always so star-studded. In 1934, the hotel faced the possibility of bankruptcy and by 1945, the hotel was described as “run-down-at-the-heels.” It was purchased by Walter Schott, a local car dealer, who had little experience in managing such a facility. Changing demographics of the surrounding neighborhood, along with riots and racial tensions, helped drag down the prestige of the hotel.
But despite it’s problems, it counted the Beetles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson as guests. “Rainman,” a 1988 film, featured the hotel.
The hotel was purchased by the Belvedere in 1986 and last renovated in 1999. Only ten years later, the Manor closed due to deteriorating market conditions.
One of the first reuse proposals for the hotel called for it to be converted into 100 low income apartments. But Children’s Hospital, needing additional office space for 600 employees, signed a letter of intent to be its sole occupant for up to 17 years. Work began shortly after these photographs were taken.