The story goes, in 1919, Johnny Ghisolfo wanted to build a hotel that would withstand the test of time. And, he proved to do just that.
One hundred years later, the Mount View Hotel in downtown Calistoga has been celebrating its centennial all year long.
The 33-room hotel is located at 1457 Lincoln Ave. Back in 1907, this was the location of the Europa Hotel, built and owned by one Louis Banchero. That hotel burned down, was rebuilt and named the European Hotel. The property was then sold to Ghisolfo in 1912.
After witnessing extensive fire damage to the downtown area, Ghisolfo built his hotel with 8-inch thick concrete walls to anchor it and by 1919 Ghisolfo had built his new hotel, the Mount View, in the popular style of the time, called Mission Revival. By 1938, the hotel had a total of 45 rooms, all equipped with running hot mineral water.
The Ghisolfo family maintained ownership of the hotel for more than 50 years.
During the Depression and two world wars, however, the hotel suffered neglect. In the late 1970s, designers Jerry Roy and Paul Pilgrim transformed the original Mission Revival structure, restoring the building to its original grandeur as a charming Art Deco-influenced boutique hotel. Today, the Mount View is a prime example of the Art Deco style from the 1920s and 30s.
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In 1981, the hotel was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and is on its official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.
Michael Woods and his family bought the hotel in 1990, and have been dedicated to preserving the hotel in true Art Deco style ever since.
Earlier this year, Stephanie Woods orchestrated a series of renovations throughout the historic hotel including the lobby, guest suites, pool, outdoor lounge and the Indie Blue Salon – a unique coffee and wine venue.
The hotel also has two restaurants, Veraison and Johnny’s, named after Ghisolfo.
At a celebration of the hotel’s 100th anniversary, on Nov. 21, Mayor Chris Canning issued a proclamation honoring its history. In addition to the hotel’s preservation, the Woods also donate 50 percent of the hotel’s profits to organizations selected by the family, through the Change the World While You Sleep program.
This year, they distributed the first donation checks to nonprofits that support women, children, health, the environment and local causes.