Emma D's diary

By EmmaDrabble

At Scarborough: The 'wondrous' Grand Hotel

In 1867 the Grand Hotel first opened its doors. The colossal scale of the enterprise, coupled with the opulence of its furnishings and the facilities made available to its guests made it the most premier hotel in Europe.

Its Architect, Cuthburt Brodrick of Leeds already had undertaken The National Gallery, Leeds Corn Exchange, Manchester Royal Exchange and the Bombay Custom House. He was already accustomed to working to a grand scale.

The Grand Hotels original design was to have 4 towers (depicting the four seasons of the year), 12 floors, (months of the year) 52 chimneys (weeks of the years), 365 rooms (days of the year).

The building conceived as the "The Cliff Hotel". During the second year of the building project the money ran out and the project was sold. The new owners, "Grand Hotel LTD" restarted the building work in 1866 and completed it the following year.

The Grand Hotel had absorbed more than 6 million bricks. Its total build cost was more than £100,000 and three workmen were killed in the building progress.

The Grand still dominates the South Bay in Scarborough. "It survived 2 world wars, periodic recessions and social changes unintelligible to those who created it. The hotel still possesses an aura of dignity, affluence, privilege and to some sheer naked arrogance. There are some enduring bulk a comforting reassurance in times of constant change and there are others, perhaps the majority who find their imagination stimulated by its towering exterior and by the superb proportions."

Its for me a reflection of all the hope of those times gone by. I imagine the fan fare and celebrations when it was opened. I worry, that it is enduring another recession and a society that struggles to comprehend the optimism and vision that it was once built in. x

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