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Published: Thursday, October 6, 2011, 6:54 p.m.

Strand Hotel a fixture since 1915

  • The Strand Hotel, shown here around 1930, has been a fixture in Everett since 1915.

    Everett Public Library

    The Strand Hotel, shown here around 1930, has been a fixture in Everett since 1915.

EVERETT -- The fire that tore through the Strand Hotel Wednesday threatened to put an end to a building that's been a downtown fixture for nearly a century.
The Strand doesn't have the cachet of some Everett landmarks such as the Historic Everett Theater. It is one of the few remaining old downtown buildings that's doing just what it always has -- serving as a residential hotel, said David Dilgard, a historian with the Everett Public Library.
"It's an interesting carry-over that harkens back to the early uses of Colby Avenue," he said. "It's a recognizable survivor of World War I commerce in Everett."
The Strand Hotel was built in 1915. Then people would stroll into the lobby, which was just off Colby Avenue. At some point retailers took up shop in at least part of the lobby. In the 1940s, a luggage store and a stationary shop did business on the ground level.
At times, the hotel was likely home to some less savory business ventures, Dilgard said. In the 1940s, it was one of the few places where rooms could be rented by the hour.
Today all vestiges of the lobby are gone. Residents get to the upper floors through a discreet door facing the street.
The north side of the building still bears the name of the hotel in bold, painted letters.
It's not clear how the hotel got its name; Dilgard guesses it could be named for a street in London called the Strand that starts at Trafalgar Square.
The hotel was a central part of former Herald reporter Bob Wodnik's 2003 book "Captured Honor," which wove Pacific Northwest POWs stories. Wodnik anchored the entire work in the lobby of the Strand Hotel, contrasting the horrors of a Japanese prison camp with the quiet life of a Strand Hotel desk clerk during World War II.
-- Debra Smith, Herald writer

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