Then & Now: Chelsea’s Sylvan Building


The Crescent Hotel as it looked in 1923. Courtesy of CAHS.


Chelsea House, located at 114 North Main Street, was renamed Crescent Hotel in 1917, and later became the Sylvan Hotel. Made of stucco, the hotel had a restaurant that served Chelsea residents for many years in addition to hotel guests. In the 1950s, classes of school children were taken to the bowling alley in the basement during school hours for “gym”. There, in addition to learning to bowl, they took turns setting the bowling pins for each other behind the alley.

Fire destroyed the hotel in 1984 but quickly reopened in 1989 after extensive restoration using a stucco exterior that matched the original building. Care was taken to present a sympathetic design to the overall look of downtown buildings. Multiple office and retail space currently occupy the building.

The building as it is today. Credit: Doug Marrin

For more history of fires in Chelsea, visit Chelsea Area Historical Society Museum for the dedication of the Fire House on September 11 beginning at 11 a.m.

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