This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol6", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Contemporaneously with the development of the country inn into the large public-house and refreshment bar has been its perhaps more legitimate change or growth into, first, the country hotel, and steadily from that to the great palace hotel, such as is being built at the present time in all great cities. As a rule the small country hotel shows its origin pretty clearly, having often been built upon the site of a hotel or inn of former days. These were frequently planned on the continental system, round an internal courtyard into which the stage-coaches could be driven to discharge their passengers. Frequently there was not only an archway from the street, but a second archway on the farther side of the court leading into the stables, these being occasionally, as they are frequently still found in country places on the continent, located underneath a whole wing of bedrooms. This courtyard plan, however, is hardly suitable to our climate, and it has given way gradually to the covering of the whole site, and to an arrangement which partakes to a certain small extent of that of the inn, frequently containing tortuous passages, with a considerable amount of waste space in consequence, due not to bad planning on the part of the architect of the present time, but to gradual enlargement on the old lines and a disinclination to pull down entirely when the alterations have been made.
Fig. 13. Crowm & Mitre Hotel - Carlisle
In Fig. 13 the plan is shown of the Crown and Mitre Hotel at Carlisle, as remodelled by Messrs. Oliver & Dodgshun, which has developed somewhat after this fashion, together with the neighbouring small Liverpool Arms, practically under the same management. There are frontages to two roads, and each of these is occupied on the ground floor, except for the small frontage of the Liverpool Arms, by lock-up shops. The main frontage has the hotel entrance in the centre, through a broad vestibule or hall into a large staircase hall, whence stairs rise to the bedrooms, which arc all located on upper floors, together with the dining-rooms and coffee-rooms which are necessary for the use of the residents. There is a lift also opening out of this hall for passengers and luggage, close against the manager's office, which is so placed as to control the entrance and also the passage to the kitchens. These are situated down the side of a covered entrance, and can thus be served without tradesmen passing through the main entrance. The plan is to a great extent, in this particular instance, controlled by the fact of there being a large assembly hall at the back, to which there is an entry by means of a central corridor from the hotel, as well as a gallery entry by the side of the main building from the main road; while there are still other entries, both for public and performers, from a large hotel-yard in the rear, access to which is obtained from the side street. There is a billiard-room in the middle of the site, lighted from the kitchen area, and placed on the ground floor, so that it would be used by town's folk as well as residents, and would by them probably be utilised to a considerable extent as a club, it being comfortably arranged with a large alcove and good window seats, while it is situated close to a bar, which, however, is too small to become a regular drinking saloon. A smoking-room is placed in an out-of-the-
~The Ralace Hotel- Shanghai ~
Fifth Floor Plan.
First Floor Plan. .
Soott & Carter. Architects way corner, with taproom and parlour beyond it, the former having its windows in an entrance from the hotel yard. A large laundry, opening out of the yard, is a somewhat unusual feature.
The frontage to the side road is taken up by shops, as has already been said, except that in the centre there is an entrance to a series of rooms known as stock-rooms, another entrance to which is obtainable out of the yard, while they are served both by staircase and lift. These are necessary adjuncts to a provincial commercial hotel of any size, as they are intended for the display of goods by commercial travellers, who have their large packages brought there and opened, and the contents shown upon tables or counters, their local customers being invited to inspect and order from the stock thus displayed.
The Palace Hotel at Shanghai, designed by Messrs.
Scott & Carter, which is illustrated in Fig. 14, is a further development; and although it is built elsewhere than in England, it may be taken as a step between the English hotel and the greater erections which are now being put up in the metropolis and other large cities upon what is more or less a trans-Atlantic system. The comfort of the little country place is entirely put aside in favour of a large formal building containing handsome reception-rooms and a large number of separate bedrooms, while the ground floor is, as with many other classes of buildings, cut up into small shop frontages, which can be let off and so add to the income of the establishment. At Shanghai there are two bars perfectly detached on the ground floor for outside custom, and also a billiard-room; while the middle of the site is occupied by an entrance hall, staircase, and lifts, together with a manager's office. The central staircase runs right up the building, and serves large dining and drawing-rooms, lounges, etc., on the first floor, which is planned, perhaps not too satisfactorily if considered from an English standpoint, with a long central corridor, and also with a narrow service corridor along the main frontage to enable the more distant banqueting hall and private dining-rooms to be served from the kitchen. The top floor also suffers through having a long corridor, comparatively unlighted, from end to end of it, while it consists of little else than bedrooms, two private sitting-rooms only being provided, while each bedroom has a bathroom attached to it, so placed that it must be lighted by electricity. This plan is not given as an example of what is best to follow under all circumstances, but merely as illustrating a transitional stage, for which we have to look to other countries.