Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Glyndon Hotel

Believe it or don't, not everyone likes being spotlighted by the Unusual Kentucky staff. Some people feel it's insulting, or beneath their dignity to be thought of as "weird" or unusual or interesting or potentially haunted or just plain cool. That's always puzzled me, because my purpose here is glorify, to exalt, to elevate, to honor, and to celebrate what's left of our fair state that hasn't been homogenized into this post-post-modern hell our society currently finds itself mired in.

Take, for instance, the guy who has a certain ice cream parlor in St.Matthews who came running out, furiously angry because I was taking a picture of the giant fiberglass ice cream cone on his sign.

"Is this for any sort of commercial purposes?" he asked haughtily.

"Not really", I replied, "I'm a photographer, and I'm working on a book..."

Before I could say more, he said, "That's a commercial purpose. Don't take any more pictures of my ice cream cone, please."

And yet, I would have been willing to do a whole-page spread about his business and his cone in the Weird Kentucky book. Free advertising. Great publicity. And he ran me off (I was also a regular customer). Now that's truly weird.

Then there was a run-down motor inn with a beautiful old star-shaped 1940's neon sign, and the woman who came scrambling out to inform me that the type of people who stayed at her motel valued their privacy and didn't want people with cameras skulking around. Never mind that I was only pointing the camera straight up at the sign, and never mind that she basically openly admitted her establishment was a "no-tell motel". Never mind that I was on a public sidewalk, and in theory can take a photo of whatever I damn well please.

And then there was the time that a certain writer sent me angry, cursing, obscene e-mails for referring to a certain Kentucky locale as "a sleepy little town". "You big city people come to Kentucky just to laugh at us hicks", he ranted. Apparently he didn't realize that not only am I from Kentucky, I still live in Kentucky and I am a "hick" myself, having grown up a hog-sloppin' farmboy proudly from Madison County's Waco, one of the sleepiest of all sleepy little towns in Kentucky. I would never mean to offend anyone by my coverage here, but on the other hand, I am not one to sit and agonize about political correctness and word-parsing to avoid the off chance that someone, somewhere, might potentially be offended for some abstract personal reasons.

Which brings us to the Glyndon Hotel.

I'm not saying anything about it. I'm just telling you that it exists. And that I love it. It's in Richmond. Go there and check it out for yourself.

That is all.


J.T. Dockery said...

As a fellow Glyndon Hotel enthusiast myself (I got all kinds of memories of the place, and, then I'm foggy on some other things), I agree, the people got to know. But you don't have to hand 'em all the tasty details. You're a lamplighter; JSH, show 'em the way.

Ed said...

It looks very pretty at night.

Laura said...

My brother once took a leap from one of the second-story windows of the Glyndon--surprisingly and very fortunately, he was not so injured that he couldn't be locked up in the Richmond jail for the night. Is there something about the hotel that I should know?

Tim said...

There is at least one ghost story surrounding the Glyndon Hotel. I have forgotten the details. I wish JSH could remind us, but it sounds like he was warned against it.

Laura said...

Thanks, Tim. I hope that anyone who knows any stories will post them here.

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

Something about the lady on the staircase. I've heard that on the upper floors there are some note cards with quotes from the Bible on them. A clock whose hands froze when the Linburgh (sp) baby died, a desk clerk who gave someone a ride somewhere one time only to be discovered chopped up in an abandoned house, a hang out for older closet homosexuals in the area, a beautiful mural painting of Daniel Boone and mezzanine, this psychic girl one time told me she thought there was a quarrel between an older man and a younger man over a girl and of the one of the two men being shot dead there at a party or something, but she probably made that up, i love the fact that Woody's window says fine food and spirits. Woody's is an awesome restaurant. I wish I had money to pay my debts and to spend a night at the Glyndon while going to eat at Woody's and for a lapdance at the nearby Manhatten Club. It's been a long time and I_HEART_Jimpy is getting old.

Hayden Pantytree makes my blood steam...."office ladies".

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

Oh yeah, And Cassius Clay of abducted wife fame and murderer of cross-eyed folks, his room is red.

Ed said...

Stone Lions?

DontTalk2Commies said...

There are no cards on the upper floors with bible verses on them. Trust me, I know.

The story about the clock is true from what I hear. Not sure about the other stuff, but I certainly don't believe any so called "psychics".

DontTalk2Commies said...

Actually it wasn't the Lindburgh baby, it was when the killer was being executed. A crowd gathered in the Glyndon to listen to the radio broadcast of the execution. On the very minute they killed the guy, the clock stopped and hasn't ran since.

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

They are upstairs on the third and fourth floors -- where there is the old gold / yellow carpet and above where there is only wooden flooring. White cards in the windows with Bible verses on them.

Ps. Jimpy's back on Youtube!

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

Man those floors where there is the old gold / yellow carpet and those halls are pretty creepy late a night even without the carpet that makes you think you're in the short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper". That area definitely has a different feel from the rest of the place. If memory serves me well, aren't those halls yellowish anyway?

Can't remember exactly where those cards were, but I know that there might have been one in the room on the fourth floors two stories above the red room that looks out towards the courthouse, and then there was at least one in those rooms behind the windows that you see in the middle in the picture, and on down the hallway in the room directly opposite from the room that looks out towards the courthouse, etc. I believe there were at least four such cards; however, I don't remember anything else being in those rooms or on the fourth floor (not even the Yellow / Gold carpet) except for the square white cards with the Bible verses. I don't remember what the verses said anymore, but it seems like one was a quotation from the book of Daniel. I really have no idea why the cards were there. There really wasn't anything creepy about the cards themselves except for stray imaginings that they were used to drive off ghosts or something.

DontTalk2Commies said...

I don't think those cards are there anymore.

I certainly don't think they were placed there to ward off ghosts. I wouldn't ask either, that would be a real bad idea.

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

Hold that thought...I do kind of remember a table or a desk maybe in one of those two rooms in the middle.

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

Hahaha. Y'see, I don't know if they are there right now either, but they were some years ago. I wasn't trying to making it up.

Anyway, have a nice day.

"I don't think those cards are there anymore.

I certainly don't think they were placed there to ward off ghosts. I wouldn't ask either, that would be a real bad idea."

i_HEART_Jimpy_the_Clown said...

Well, the credit cards are trying to come after old Iheartjimpy wanting their $25,000.00 back, but ya know with my criminal record and being unable to find any jobs, I just can't get started on paying that back. Anybody got any suggestions?

Ed said...

Maybe you could file for bankruptcy, iheart.

DontTalk2Commies said...

Years ago ,the Berea Church of Christ used to congregate in one of the rooms in the hotel before they had a building, in the 1950's I believe. It is possible that they put them up there, just for the residents to see.

The cards are no longer up there though.

Ed said...

I noticed that Woody's is no longer in its old location. What is up with that?

Paul said...

The motor-inn with the star-shaped (dilapated and non-functional) neon sign wouldn't happen to be Catalina Motel?


Corey said...

wow you guys are gonna love me then.
I was employed by the family that owns the place a couple summers ago (two years ont the 27th actually) to help them renovate, and I learned disgusting and fucked up things about that place.
I'll start with the Clock. On my first day there the clock was mentioned and about how it hadnt ran since the executin. I've held the damn thing, its heavy, but it turns out that the wind for it simply ran out and nobody could find the key that winds it (which is actually in the clock some where, i forgot where)
I worked ther for a full year and I never had a paranormal experience with a couple exceptions. We locked up the fourth floor because of how bad the conditions were. there were several places that I wouldn't have stood on for more then a few seconds for fear of the floor collapsing. Bt a couple of days before we locked it up we were clearing out anything that could be of use, and since I was the only one on maintenance at the time, i was the only one up there. It was near the end of the day and I was just starting to close down when I heard the floor board that was notoriously loose creak, which it only did when stepped on. Thinking it was my supervisor coming to relieve me of duty I said without turning "Hey 'Jamie', I'll be done in a second!" and after I said it I felt chills crawl up my spine as I heard a young woman's voice both in my head and my ears say "Who's 'Jamie'? I thought you loved me (enter my name)....." I slowly turn around and there's nothing on top of that floorboard, but creaks again as if something had lifted its weight from it and ran away. For 5 minutes I was afraid to move.

I was in that room on the fourth floor that is right beside the small stairs, you just turn right. I never told them that but i refused to go up to that floor again.

a guy was murdered there the Febuary of last year. I had to clean several of the bloodstains left behind after the police investigated, blood splatters are fucking creepy in that hotel.

We completely rapainted and drywalled all of the floors except the 4th. and even recarpeted the 3rd. and all kinds of shit. If you want details on that ask me. I think its been closed to the public now

Asher said...

It's sad to see how old downtown Richmond is changing into just another of the regional law/bank centers around the country. Downtown London, for example, has become nothing more than a series of temples to commerce and political tyranny.
As a former resident of the Glyndon (Summer/Fall, 1987) I can relate no supernatural occurrences other than the wandering drunken college student, usually coming to visit my roommates and I.
Sad to see it in such disrepair, waiting for some attorney's office to swoop down and get it at auction prices, as they do most other aging Americana sites.

bentoncha2 said...

My grandfather just about died in that place. He had no heat to speak of in his small shack on his Tates Creek Road farm, so he would live at the Glyndon during the winters. I guess each floor at that time had one bathroom. He was taking a bath and had some problems where his 'electrolytes'had depleted. Anyway, long story short, he was unable to get out of the bathtub. Someon who worked the desk at the Glyndon called my dad who went there and arrived about the time the ambulance crew did. They knocked down the door and sure enough my gradnfather was lying in the tub, full of cold water up to his neck, barely keeping himself from going under with his legs. He lived through that and remained a fixture of downtown Richmond for many more years to come. We could always find him sitting in front of the Glyndon, on the steps leading to the entrance, or Sheppard's Poolroom. he also spent a great deal of time at Ralph May's "service station" on the corner of Tates Creek and West Main St. Funny how the mention of that hotel brought back all those memories.