We were so excited to add a new delivery stop to our list: The Hotel Hershey! We’ve been long-time admirers of this beautiful building, which happens to have a rich and fascinating history.
It Was Built During The Great Depression
After Milton Hershey had perfected his chocolate recipe, The Great Depression hit. Hershey felt responsible for the welfare of the 600 plus construction workers living in Hershey, PA, so he was faced with a choice. The way he saw it, he could either provide resources to feed the workers, or provide them with jobs. In order to take advantage of the low cost of building materials, he chose the latter.
It Was Inspired by the Hersheys’ Worldwide Travels
Before her death, Milton Hershey’s wife, Catherine, wanted her husband to build a hotel similar to the Heliopolis Hotel the couple had stayed at in Cairo, Egypt. He wanted to purchase the plans for that hotel, but when the cost of recreating it was quoted at $5 million, he decided to go another route.
Hershey gave his chief architect a postcard of a hotel the Hersheys had stayed at during a trip on the Mediterranean. The hotel had a u-shaped base and a tower on each end. Hershey also handed over the notes he and his wife had taken during their travels. Based on those notes, he wanted to add a Spanish patio, tiled floors, a fountain, and a circular dining room.
The Project Was Completed Within 1 Year
The project employed approximately 800 carpenters, masons, steelworkers, and other similar workers. The project started in 1932. The crew worked nonstop through a mild winter until the project was completed on May 23, 1933. The project cost $2 million and opened for business on May 26, 1933.
Today, almost a century later, the Hotel Hershey sits on the same hill, overlooking the old chocolate factory. The four-star hotel attracts visitors from around the world every year.