Pardon us for deviating from the norm a bit today, but this is just too good not to share. In the midst of our search for the usual Wednesday Car-Free Upstate post, we came across this crumbling hotel in the village of Stamford, Delaware County. The Westholm Hotel was built around 1880, and during its glory days, the hotel’s 40 rooms were occupied by enthusiastic vacationers looking to break free of crowded, dirty, and hot NYC in favor of the bucolic Catskill Mountains. The Westholm was one of the finest around, known not only for its for fine dining and a cabaret with dancing but its unique lobby murals by Stamford artist LaMont Warner, which depicted in vibrant pastels the area’s natural environment. The Westholm remained in operation as a popular Borscht Belt destination until the 1990s when it was shuddered for good. As you can see by the photos, it’s in a state of disrepair, and current owners Deb and Tony Dianich are looking to pass this property onto a buyer who will transform it.
We gleaned much of what we know about the Westholm from the Westholm Project page. Included in the five-figure price is a the hotel’s 1.45 acre lot and an historic preservation grant template worth, according to the Project page, $4,000. It goes without saying that this hotel needs a lot of work. More than that. This hotel needs all of the work. But there is something special about this place, and it could be an incredible boon to the local economy. Even if you have no interest in buying and just like old, abandoned properties (we very much do), take a moment to look at the website, which includes pictures of the hotel’s exterior, interior, and LaMont Warner’s murals. There’s also some good stuff here on Mystic Domestica.
Oh, and here’s the Car-Free tie in: It’s near the Trailways bus stop on Harper Street in Stamford. We can almost picture the hotel guests stepping off the bus and checking in.