The One Park Place building was constructed in 1925 after a tragic fire destroyed the Columbia Hotel which had stood on the present site from 1892-1918. The site was rebuilt in a Neo-Colonial style. Its most previous owner was the Russo family until 1972 when it was purchased by Edward and Gary Wragge.
It has been renamed the One Park Place building and has had one owner for the past 44 years. The present owner has spent the intervening years bringing the building to its present state of full occupancy as the village centerpiece of retail, business, and downtown living units.
For an in depth history of the One Park Place building location click here!
The corner of West Main Street (Route 20) and Park Street in Fredonia has been a valuable parcel of real estate since the earliest settlement of the area. The first known use was the location of Hezekiah Barker's log home/tavern in 1808 which he later sold to Mosely Abell. This structure was lighted by gas in 1821, possibly the first hotel in America to do so, according to theDunkirk Evening Observer. General Lafayette stopped there in 1824. A plaque marking General Lafayette's stay at the Columbia Hotel is located on the side of the One Park Place Building. The building site is also registered in the national archive of historical places.
Stage lines east/west and south crossed at Fredonia, generating much business for the hotel. In 1836, Captain Samuel Johnson built a brick hotel on this site, the Johnson House, opening it on July 4, 1837. It was subsequently owned by W. H. Taylor, and called the Taylor House. For years, this hotel was the principal hostelry in the region.
In 1892, a group of Fredonia businessmen built a new hotel, incorporating a portion of the original Johnson House. Captain E. A. Curtis, Frank W. Tarbox and Dr. M.M. Fenner formed the Fredonia Hotel Company and called their new venture the Columbia Hotel. The building occupied the block bounded by West Main, Center, Church, and Park Street. It catered to travelling salesmen and tourists.
The Fredonia Censor described the new hotel as bright cream with white trimmings. It had 70 guest rooms, some with baths attached, a passenger and baggage elevator, steam heat, and incandescent electric lights.
The hotel advertised the convenient transportation facilities that tourists would find leading them to the Columbia: "electric street cars running to both railroad depots in Dunkirk, connecting with over 40 passenger cars per day on trunk lines, leave and arrive at the hotel every half hour."
Fredonia was founded in 1809 and as development began a few first took place. Among these were the first natural gas well and national grange. An agricultural landscape surrounds the village of fredonia where numerous industries take advantage of the lake plains moderate spring temperatures and warm summer/fall growing seasons. Concord grapes, corn and soy are among the bigger operations.
The western New York area has many winter recreation opportunities which include skiing, snowmobiling and hiking/biking the state land or rails to trails systems. The SUNY Fredonia campus is located roughly a half mile from downtown where exceptional music, education and visual arts programs are offered among many others.