Stiers plan to bring historic Knox Hotel back to Princeton

Restoration will include guest rooms, a mid-size elegant ballroom

In 2018, the Knox Hotel earned distinction as the first recipient of Princeton’s Historic Preservation Commission Award. A plaque on the middle of the front of the hotel includes the following:

It has been said that the first building greeting visitors to Princeton has always been the Knox Hotel. Its three story facade with over 40 windows and the elegant dual front entrance has served as a landmark since 1858, anchoring North Main Street and welcoming all to Princeton’s commerce and beautiful, shady streets.

The Knox Hotel has been known by several names over the years. It was built four years after the Burlington and Quincy Railroad completed their train route through Princeton in 1854. The Civil War began three years after the Knox Hotel was built, thus its first name was the Union Hotel. In 1906, it became the Knox Hotel, and many still refer to it as such. Those Princetonians living in the 1960s knew the building as the Northern Hotel, and remember the Sunday chicken dinners served in the first floor restaurant.

In 2015, the building was restored to its original architecture, revealing the hidden front windows and wood trim still in place. Also uncovered were the interior wood floors, arched doorways and brick walls. The brick exterior and brick parapet trim were repaired brick by brick to return to its strong, Italianate facade.

Goldie Rapp

Goldie Rapp

Goldie Rapp is the Associate Editor of the Bureau County Republican and Putnam County Record. She has worked for Shaw Media since 2013.