(Zanesville Times Recorder 10/6/1974)
Hotel Rogge, one of Zanesville’s favorite landmarks, disintegrated under the terrific blows of the wreckers’ equipment last week.
Changes in modern life style seem to demand the destruction of well-known buildings – Leffler’s old store at Fifth and Main, ,the Starr store, Zane Motor Inn and the County Jail, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in July, 1973.
And Zanesville’s skyline will undergo more changes. Plans of been announced for demolition of the First Trust Bank and the Liberty Theatre, built in 1927.
Motels have replaced hotels and people watch TV instead of attending movie theatres. When buildings are outmoded and unprofitable, owners reluctantly sell them to be razed in spite of protests against changing the image of the city.
Henry Rogge started to change that image when he arrived from Germany in 1857. He built a restaurant on the site of the hotel that was demolished last week.
On that corner the Zanesville Glass Manufacturing Company began operation in 1815. It was also called the White Glass Works because it made clear glass in contrast with the green glass made on Wayne avenue. Bottles, flasks and pitchers made at Third and Market streets bring high prices today.
A few Zanesvillians probably shook their heads in protest when Henry Rogge built his restaurant on the site of the glass plant just as some of us deplore the razing of Hotel Rogge 117 years later.
Rogge Was Shrewd
But Rogge was shrewd . the Central Ohio Railroad, now the B. and O., had bee completed through this city only four years earlier. Passengers stopped at Rogge’s restaurant instead of walking to the old Zane Hotel on the Kresge site at Fifth and Main streets.
The old Zane had been a stagecoach stop. Henry Rogge foresaw a change in life style from stagecoach to railroad transportation. For more than a century his establishment across Second street from the railroad stations prospered under the management of his family.
Within a few year Henry Rogge added a frame hotel building to his restaurant and named it the St. Charles. That name continued to be listed in city directories until 1895.
Henry Rogge did not live to see more than 60 passenger trains arrive across the street from his hotel every 24 hours. He died in 1871. For ten years his widow managed the business.
Young Son Took Over
In 1880, his son, 16-year-old Albert P. Rogge quit school to manage the family enterprise.
The Zanesville Sunday News said in 1881: “This hotel has always had an enviable reputation, but its popularity under the present genial and efficient manager, Mr. A. P. Rogge, is greater than ever before.”
At that date young Rogge had just secured the services of a French cook named Jonial Costantina from New York.
Young Albert’s mother appreciated her son’s devotion to duty and his business ability. On his 18th birthday she presented him with a horse and buggy. That was equivalent to a Lincoln Continental today.
Perhaps the young man’s mother thought he would go courting in this “turn-out.” But young Albert’s motto was “Business first.” He sold the horse and buggy and used the money to to buy a new-fangled piece of equipment called a cash register.
The bell of that cash register jangled continuously and the cash drawer was filled every day. By the 1890’s 66 passenger trains arrived t Zanesville station on lower Market street daily. Many of the passengers patronized the St. Charles.
The original Rogge restaurant stood on the west end of the lot near the railroad tracks. On the corner Dollison Brothers sold buggies and Angelo Meola displayed fresh fruit for sale.
New Brick Hotel
A. P. Rogge saw that his frame hotel was not adequate for accommodating the railroad patrons. He acquired the Dollison lot and in 1900 built the four-story brick hotel that was demolished last Sunday.
It was built with Ohio Press Brick Company brick and was equipped with elevators, steam heat, electric lights, hot and cold water and complete telephone system.
In the lobby at the west end Rogge installed an elaborate mosaic fireplace made by the Mosaic Tile Company. It featured the Rogge coat of arms with helmet and crown and a large letter R.
Salvaging anything in a building today costs more that demolishing it and hauling it away. What could be done about that mosaic fireplace? Only stand there in the lobby made dark with boarded windows and feel sad and have the fireplace recorded on film.
In 1900 no one envisaged the thousands of autos on super-highways that would force passenger trains to quit running. Zanesville could boast only one car – S. A. Weller’s electric.
Railroad Traffic Increased
Railroad passenger traffic increased. Rogge’s 1900 building lacked space to serve enough meals for his patrons. In 1904 he enlarged the restaurant 25 fee.
Seventy years ago he discretely built a partition across the dining room to provide privacy for the women’s side. Women’s lib was to develop more than half a century later.
Also in 1904 Rogge furnished a grill room 18 x 25 feet in size in the style of an old English tavern. Two fire escapes were added.
In 1918 Rogge paid $125,000 for the Clarendon Hotel and leased it to several chains until 1961. Then Thomas Trexler was employed to manage both hotels.
Railroads still had a monopoly of passenger service when Rogge bought the Clarendon. Civic leaders urged construction of a union railroad station.
As the number of autos increased, travelers patronized hotels. The number of cars owned in Muskingum County increased from 1,709 in 1916 to 17,000 in 1926. But, except for a few drivers who camped along the road, most travelers stopped at hotels.
Added 50 New Rooms
The recently demolished Zane was built in 1925. A year later Rogge added 50 new fireproof rooms on the west end of his lot. This section contained facilities for the express company.
The Hotel Rogge dining room was a popular place of luncheons and dinners.
No record was kept of prominent patrons. On March 23, 1935 the Signal reported that Amelia Earhart had spent the night there and recalled that she had delivered a lecture at the high school a year earlier. Mrs. Rogge recalled that Warren G. Harding stopped at the Rogge when he was campaigning for the presidency.
In 1936 Rogge employed Ivan Stockdale to decorate the Zane Grey room of the hotel. He also painted the Minuet Room in peach, blue and silver.
For several years the Business and Professional Women’s Club held their antique shows in the Minuet Room.
When the Ohio Power Company took the cottage of the Roges about 30 years ago, they bought the former James Ross home for a summer home. They liked it so well they made it their permanent residence and did not return to the family home on Third street.
Hotel Business Declines
As more motels were built, hotel business declined. In recent years both the Clarendon and the Rogge were occupied by senior citizens.
In November, 1972, the state fire Marshall ruled that both the Clarendon and the Rogge were unsafe and demanded rewiring and installation of sprinkling systems. Conforming to these demands would have been prohibitive in cost.
The Rogge was boarded up on December 13, 1972 and the Clarendon was padlocked on December 23.
Recently the Bloomer Candy Company acquired the property from its North Third street building to the Market street corner, including the Hotel Rogge. The company demolished the hotel to use the site for a parking lot.
Three generations of the Barry family now work in the Bloomer Candy Company. William G. Barry, son of one of the founders, supervises the making of chocolates for four or five months before Christmas. His son William S. Barry supervises rebagging. And Patrick and Teresa, children of William S. Barry, are employed part time.
While construction costs remain high, the site of Hotel Rogge will be used for parking with possible future use as a building site.