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[graphic] Mark Antony Motor Hotel (Ashland Springs Hotel)
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[photo]
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.

[photo]
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.

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