Through the years, the Western Hotel fell into disrepair and was condemned in 1974. Many concerned Lancaster residents, especially students, refused to let this historic structure be razed.
The Western Hotel Historical Society (WHHS) was formed in 1974, with goals to acquire the property, restore it, and develop a future museum. The “Save the Western Hotel” movement started, and the WHHS was able to fundraise enough money to allow them to buy the mortgage from Stuart Lank. A local eighth-grade class also helped to save the Western Hotel with their teacher, Tri Robinson.
In the early 1980s, the City of Lancaster took over the Western Hotel and they were able to organize many larger renovations that included getting the ceilings up to code and adding modern plumbing to the building. During the widening of Lancaster Boulevard, the hotel was moved back approximately twenty-five feet. However, if you look closely at the center of the Boulevard, you’re able to see two palm trees in the original location of the building (see photo).
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections