Developers renovating historic Florida hotel make amazing finds



Slide 1 of 15: Technically it's a hotel renovation - but it's turned into a treasure hunt. Developers renovating a historic hotel in Florida once visited by John F. Kennedy have been startled by a series of incredible discoveries, unearthed as walls have been taken down and wallpaper peeled away. They've found a hand-cranked antique elevator, a staircase leading to nowhere, brick fireplaces, an original wooden telephone switchboard, hand-painted wallpaper, hand-carved columns and newspaper clippings with adverts for horse-drawn carriages.
Slide 2 of 15: An elevator dating back more than 100 years found behind sheetrock next to a carved wooden post.
Slide 3 of 15: Pictured: The antique elevator's hand crank discovered during renovations.
Slide 4 of 15: Pictured: The elevator's gears, motor and cables are still intact.

Slide 5 of 15: The elevator carriage is set to be transformed into a photo booth in what will be a new restaurant venue.
Slide 6 of 15: Behind one of the sheetrock walls, a brickwork fireplace was discovered with soot still in the chimney.
Slide 7 of 15: A worker found a newspaper clipping containing adverts for horse-drawn carriages.
Slide 8 of 15: An archive photo of the Detroit Hotel in St. Petersburg. The venue, which opened in 1888, was the first significant building in the city - the metropolis grew around it. The hotel grew into a popular tourist attraction and the St. Petersburg Museum of History confirmed John F. Kennedy once visited it.
Slide 9 of 15: Brick structures were added to the west and east wings, obscuring the original wooden structure. Above, how the landmark at 217 Central Avenue appears today.

Slide 10 of 15: The original telephone switchboard mounted on a wooden wall panel, with room numbers handwritten in pencil by the wires.
Slide 11 of 15: A newspaper clipping was found tucked into one of the bars of the elevator.
Slide 12 of 15: One of the more startling finds was a staircase - leading to nowhere.
Slide 13 of 15: Some of the ornate metalwork on the doors of the elevator, which dates back to the late 19th century.
Slide 14 of 15: A rendering shows what the ground floor space within the former hotel will look like after being transformed by the Segretis Hospitality Group.

Slide 15 of 15: Two new restaurants are in the pipeline - a pizzeria and an eatery serving up American cuisine. This rendering reveals what future customers can expect inside once the renovation is complete.
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