The Hotel De Soto courteously provides the use of its bathrooms to guests of the Sorrel-Weed museum house across the street. For this reason we recently entered the 1968 hotel’s lobby and there I spotted a relic of its 1890 predecessor (figure 1).

Figure 1. Hotel De Soto terracotta. Savannah, GA. Photo: author.

William G. Preston’s 1890 exterior was eclectic with turrets and apsidal wing that point vaguely toward the Richardsonian (figures 2-3). I do not, however, see the wonderful terracotta plaque of Hernando de Soto in figures 2 & 3 (from 1900 and 1909, respectively).

Figure 2. Hotel De Soto, Savannah GA, 1890. William G. Preston, architect. Image: Detron Photographic Co., 1900. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Still, its rich textures in the crest of the helmet, the beard, the chased designs and rivets on the armor, and the geometric frame seem to me designed to catch sunlight, so maybe my eyes just aren’t up to spotting our plaque in the two historical images.

Figure 3. Hotel De Soto, Savannah, GA, 1890. William G. Preston, architect. Image: Valentine & Sons, 1909. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

iPhone XS. Figure 1 edited in Apple Photos.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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