Now called the Ashland Springs,
the hotel is located in the center of downtown
Photograph by Terry Skibby
The Mark Antony Motor Hotel, was erected in 1924-25 just before
the Great Depression. Originally known as the Lithia Springs Hotel,
it was intended to be a luxury hotel with first-class accommodations
for the many visitors that the city expected to be drawn to Ashland
as a health resort and vacation center. The building was designed
by architects Tourtellotte and Hummell entirely of reinforced concrete
in an eclectic style with Romanesque, English Tudor, Gothic, and
Neo-Classical Revival elements; it was to be the tallest building
between Portland and San Francisco. This architectural firm later
won the contract to design the new Idaho State Capitol, which was
completed in 1912. Typical of some of J. E. Tourtellotte's later
designs, such as the Boise Hotel (1930) and the Baker Hotel (1929),
the Lithia Springs Hotel has a nine-story central tower with two
short wings. The main entry has a catenary arch with inset windows,
flanked by two round or Romanesque arches. Tiffany-type stained
glass is used in the upper windows and in the three arched openings
along First Street.
Historic image from the 1920s
when the hotel was known as the Lithia Springs Hotel
Courtesy of The Terry Skibby Collection
When its original promise failed to materialize, the Lithia Springs
was renamed in 1961 as the Mark Antony to capitalize on the economic
revival brought about by the success of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
An ill-fated 1978 renovation and continuing financial problems contributed
to a downward spiral only recently halted by its purchase by a new
owner who undertook an extensive restoration. This renovation, under
the National Parks Service's Certified Rehabilitation program for
which the owners received a historic
preservation tax credit, has returned the hotel to its original
grandeur. Now known as the Ashland Springs Hotel, the completed
renovation combines elements of its earlier style with the modern
comfort required by today's travelers. Its location at the center
of downtown will prove attractive to Festival-goers and locals alike.
Thus the landmark hotel tower has resumed its original prime position
in Ashland's landscape.
The Mark Antony Motor Hotel (Ashland Springs Hotel) is located
at 212 E. Main St. The hotel has several restaurants and serves
afternoon tea in the grand lobby. Visit www.ashlandspringshotel.com
or call 541-488-1700 for further information.
The Ashland Springs Hotel is a Historic Hotels of America member, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.