5621 Main St, New Port Richey, FL 34652
Since I moved to my home back in 2010, I often drive to Main Street in New Port Richey, Florida. I’ve shared with you the Farmer’s Market, the library and City Hall, Sims Park, murals, and a A Ride Around New Port Richey, Florida
Downtown New Port Richey is built around Main Street and has older buildings from the town’s early beginnings. One that made me sad for many years was the abandoned old Hacienda Hotel. It was built in 1926. The area had been discovered by silent film and Broadway stars and world athletes as a winter haven. The hotel gave New Port Richey the nickname “Hollywood East”.
Photo Tampa Bay Times
Nearly a century ago, a new hotel at the corner of Main and Bank streets was the talk of New Port Richey, Florida. The Hacienda Hotel was a luxurious building with pink stucco walls and a sprawling courtyard. In the decades since it was built, the Hotel has played host to movie stars, served as a healthcare facility, and even intrigued a few ghost hunters.
Located on the banks of the Pithlachascotee River (‘Cotee River to locals), the building was planned as a “modern, fifty-room hotel of extreme Spanish design.” The Spanish Colonial Revival style hotel was designed by Thomas Reed Martin, a Wisconsin-born architect who moved to Florida at the turn of the 20th century. Plans for the hotel featured steam heating, an open-air dining room, and a courtyard patio. The Hacienda formally opened in February 1927, and was a hit with locals and visitors alike. Somehow it survived the Great Depression and was open to the 1970’s. In 1986, the building reopened as the Hacienda Home for Special Services. When I moved to Pasco County, the Hacienda had been vacant for years.
In 2003, the city of New Port Richey purchased the empty Hacienda Hotel. After working with several developers in attempts to renovate and reopen the hotel, the city approved an agreement in 2018 with James Gunderson. He has been working to restore the historic hotel. It was originally supposed to re-open in 2021, but the pandemic changed that. Major renovation is almost complete, and the hotel is scheduled to open in March 2022.
The restoration was motivated by the desire to bring history back to life. The hotel will offer 40 guest rooms and a full service bar and restaurant. The renovations have aimed to preserve and pay homage to the building’s iconic 1920s history. In addition to preserving the architectural elements, the hotel’s renovated parking lot has been named for Gloria Swanson, the iconic actress who starred in a number of silent films in the 1920s, as well as the the classic 1950 film Sunset Boulevard.
The backyard of the hotel flows into the beautiful and sprawling Sims Park.
I hope to visit after it re-opens and take some photos of the restoration. The construction fence around the hotel will come down, landscaping will be finished, and I know it’s going to be beautiful. I thank the City of New Port Richey for the historic photos today.
Get exclusive free printables & all the news straight to your mailbox!
Please see my Link Parties page for the parties where this post was shared.