Wayne Hotel

Radnor Twp, Delaware County, PA

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The Wayne Hotel (139 East Lancaster Avenue) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]

The Wayne Hotel is situated at the corner of Waynewood Avenue and Lancaster Avenue atop a small hill. Perhaps the tallest building in Wayne, this five-story detached Tudor Revival building is an imposing landmark in the center of the Wayne business district. The core of the building is a five-story rectangular block with a two-story extension from the rear (north). A one-story porch also wraps around the front (south) to the east side until it abuts a one-story semi-circular dining room projection. The building was constructed in 1906 of brick, stucco and false half-timbering. The edifice retains excellent integrity. The property contains one contributing building.

The south and east elevations are the most ornate. The south facade is divided into three bays spanned by an open front porch. The large porch has a boxed cornice and molded frieze. Brick piers surmounted by paired square columns with brackets flank the centrally located porch steps. Brick piers flanked by single square columns with brackets support the four corners of the front porch. The porch rests on a brick foundation. Behind the porch is the front entrance comprised of double doors, multi-pane side lights, and an arched double pane transom. Triplets of 1/1 windows with arched multi-pane transoms flank either side of the entrance. Rising above the entrance and porch is a brick facade which terminates at a roll lock course just below the fourth story windows. Stucco finishes the remainder of the fourth story. On the outer two bays continuous bay windows ascend from the second to fourth floors. Each story of the bay windows have stucco and false half-timbering surrounded by three sets of multi-pane sash over single pane sash. Between the bay windows on each floor are paired windows with multi-pane sash over single pane sash. The fourth floor is capped by a large roof overhang and hipped roof. The roof is punctuated by two gabled dormers with multi-pane sash over single sash, linked by a shed roof section with a single multi-pane sash.

The east facade is five bays wide. The front porch wraps around to the first bay of this facade. However, the porch has been enclosed on this bay with large single panes above wooden panels. Spanning the three middle bays is a shed roof entrance porch with single light double doors flanked by large single pane windows above wooden panels. To the north of the entrance porch is a semi-circular one-story dining room with 1/1 windows beneath leaded light transoms. Above the porch and dining room is a brick wall ascending to stucco in a pattern identical to the front facade. The outermost bays feature a continuous projecting bay of four 9/1 windows flanked by single 9/1 side windows. The windows are separated by stucco and half-timbering and are capped at the fifth floor by a projecting cross gable also finished with stucco and half-timbering. The middle three bays of the second and third floors have a single window with multi-pane sash over single pane sash set under a flat arch, flanked by paired 9/1 windows set under a brick arch accentuated by a roll lock brick course. The middle three bays of the fourth floor are pierced by three pairs of multi-pane sash over single sash windows. The middle three bays are capped by a large roof overhand. Above these bays at the fifth floor level are a single dormer flanked by another matching dormer and chimney, with unobtrusive shed roof dormers on both sides of each chimney.

The west facade is less ornately detailed than the east or south elevations. The west facade is eight bays wide. The first floor features two protruding brick triple window bays which support a shed roof entrance. To the right of these bays is a single bay pierced by paired multipane windows. A double window and much smaller window flank the entrance bays to the left. The second through fourth floors feature the same pattern of brick and stucco walls and large roof overhang found on the east and south facades. Viewed from left to right, the second and third floors are punctuated by five single rectangular windows, a double window with brick arch above, a triplet of windows located between floors and surrounded by stucco and half-timbering another double window, and a single window. Again viewed from left to right, the fourth floor has three double windows, paired windows beneath a gabled dormer with stucco and half-timbering, another double window and a single window. Flanking the dormer at the fifth floor level are paired gabled dormers. An elevator tower rises from the hipped roof above the dormers.

The north elevation has a two-story extension of brick walls topped by a roll lock course just beneath the second floor windows. Stucco on the remainder of the second-story, a roof overhang, and hipped roof finish the extension. Single windows with multi-pane sash over single pane sash as well as one triplet of casement windows pierce the second-story of the extension at regular intervals. Similar single windows punctuate the first-story at irregular intervals. The north facade of the rectangular core is three bays wide. A similar pattern of brick wall stucco, roof overhang and hipped roof found on the east, south and west walls is repeated on the outer bays. The outer bay is a stucco fire tower that rises to a hipped roof above the fifth floor, with a chimney adjacent to the right. The left bay on the core is opened by a triplet of multi-pane sash over single pane sash topped by leaded glass on the first floor, and single windows of multi-pane sash over single pane sash on the second through fourth floors. The right bay has a single window of multi-pane sash over single pane sash at the third floor, and similar paired windows at the fourth floor. The first floor interior is the most ornate of the five floors. Upon entering through the front entrance, a large lobby is encountered with a library, office and an elevator to the left, a piano bar in the enclosed porches to the right, and a dining room behind the lobby. The lobby and dining room feature articulated wood beams and columns forming coffered ceilings. A large baseboard stile, chair rail, and plaster ceilings and walls are repeated in these two rooms as well as the library. The library is entered through two pairs of double multi-pane doors. Two pairs of single pane double doors with side lights and multi-pane transoms open from the lobby to the piano bar. The piano bar has an exposed brick inner wall and wood ceiling. Kitchen facilities stretch behind the dining room in the two-story extension.

The second to fifth floors have hallways running the length of the floors. A total of thirty-four private bedrooms with baths, six of which have an adjoining living room/bedroom, line both sides of the halls. On the fifth floor there are also three small meeting rooms and a powder room. The hallways are fairly simple with baseboards and chair rail throughout, and a lowered plaster ceiling (1959) used to conceal later (1985) sprinkler and five detection systems. Each room has a panel hall door, deep door and window trim, deep sills and baseboards with shoe molding, and plaster walls and ceilings. The basement contains a large pantry/meeting room, storage room and boiler room.

The interior and exterior have experienced very few major changes. On the exterior the side porches were enclosed some time before 1954. These enclosures were remodeled to their present appearance in 1985. A wheelchair ramp was also added to the side porch entrance in 1985 to meet handicap requirements. In 1959 the rear fire tower was added in as unobtrusive a manner as possible in order to meet building code requirements. On the interior the lobby and library were altered only by adding complimentary lighting fixtures.

In 1985, a 1959 2' x 4' grid ceiling was removed from the dining room and piano bar in 1959 to expose the original woodwork and ceilings which were patched or pieced. A new HVAC system was installed in 1985 so as to be virtually unobtrusive.

The Wayne Hotel is locally significant as an outstanding example of turn of the century commercial architecture. It is the only commercial building in Radnor Township designed in the Tudor Revival style. It is also one of the best preserved examples of turn of the century commercial architecture left in the Route 30 commercial corridor through Radnor Township.

The Wayne Hotel was erected in 1906 to serve local commerce, especially the local summer resort business. The village of Wayne had grown during the second half of the nineteenth century as a summer resort area for wealthy Philadelphians. The main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad brought Philadelphians to farms they had developed into summer retreats. By the turn of the century a growing number of businesses had been established along Route 30 to serve the summer resorts. One of these businesses was the Bellevue Hotel, a large 200 guest facility. However, in 1900 the Bellevue Hotel burned to the ground. Charles H. Wood then hired Jonathan D. Langel, a prominent builder in the Wayne area, to construct the Wayne Hotel.

As the summer resort industry waned during the early twentieth century, the Wayne Hotel turned to serving local businesses and residents. Route 30 developed into a bustling commercial corridor out of Philadelphia by the 1920s. More year-round residents, particularly by upper-and middle-class people, also settled in Radnor Township. The Wayne Hotel became a community focal point, serving guests of local residents and patrons of local businesses as well as providing a meeting place for local civic groups. The Wayne Hotel continued in this role until 1952 when the building was sold to the adjacent Wayne Presbyterian Church which used it as a retirement and nursing home. In 1982 it was sold for use as a synagogue and Hebrew school. In 1985 it was purchased by the present owners who have returned the building to its original function.

The Wayne Hotel stands today as the only commercial example of Tudor Revival architecture, and as one of the best preserved examples of turn of the century commercial architecture in the local area. Most other extant commercial buildings erected along Route 30 in Radnor Township during the turn of the century have been greatly altered. Many of these buildings are one or two-story stores that have had their front facades completely remodeled. The Wayne Hotel is one of the few well preserved buildings left to portray turn of the century commercial architecture along this section of Route 30. It is also the only commercial building designed in the Tudor Revival style in Radnor Township. The building's half timbering and stucco, coupled with its large size, make the building a distinctive and prominent landmark in local commercial architecture.

  1. Bajus, Stephen W. and Sisson, William, The Wayne Hotel, 1986, nomination document, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Lancaster Avenue East


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