Friday, June 04, 2010

Biltmore Hotel 1923

When the coach crossed the Pawcatuck and entered Rhode Island amidst the faery goldenness of a late spring afternoon his heart beat with quickened force, and the entry to Providence along Reservoir and Elmwood Avenues was a breathless and wonderful thing despite the depths of forbidden lore to which he had delved. At the high square where Broad, Weybosset, and Empire Streets join, he saw before and below him in the fire of sunset the pleasant, remembered houses and domes and steeples of the old town; and his head swam curiously as the vehicle rolled down to the terminal behind the Biltmore, bringing into view the great dome and soft, roof-pierced greenery of the ancient hill across the river, and the tall colonial spire of the First Baptist Church limned pink in the magic evening against the fresh springtime verdure of its precipitous background. Old Providence! It was this place and the mysterious forces of its long, continuous history which had brought him into being, and which had drawn him back toward marvels and secrets whose boundaries no prophet might fix.

- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (early 1927)
{He says "caoch", but of course he means "motor-coach" not a "horse and buggy coach" as he slyly might imply)

(Two different writers describe virtually the same scene - Lovecraft with an heir of horrific fantasy and an anonymous ad copy writer for the modern man)

from a book dated 1923
Lovecraft was about 33 - just getting ready to head off to NY for a while.

This was an impressive structure, and would have been the talk of Providence for a time.

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