110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
New owners clear out to make way for restoration
posted Jul 16, 2013 - 5:41:31am
Chairs, end tables and paintings were tumbled together in a large room that not too long ago was a busy nightclub, as workers prepared the furnishings of the Hotel Putnam for sale July 12.
Many more items remained on the historic hotel's upper floors. The sale will open to the public 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20.
Julie Bradford is coordinating the sale for the hotel's new owners, the principals of Putnam DeLand LLC, who closed June 27 on the purchase. Bradford said the plan is to clear the furnishings in preparation for a historic restoration, although final plans for the hotel's new life are still being made.
Available are refrigerators, ovens, tables and chairs, beds, television sets and other odds and ends accumulated over the Putnam's 92 years at 225 W. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand.
As a few people drifted in to say hello and check out the merchandise, Bradford said, she's heard a lot of positive comments about the hotel's new ownership.
"Everybody's so excited," she said.
Putnam DeLand LLC's principal owner is Soly Halabi, a New York City real-estate broker who made headlines in newspapers in the Northeast after he represented Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim in the purchase of two landmark Big Apple properties.
One of those hopeful that Halabi will restore the Hotel Putnam to its former glory is Linda Dorian, whose great-grandparents, Barnabas Edward Brown and his wife, Nettie, designed and built the hotel in 1921.
Dorian is hopeful that a large glass-enclosed diorama featuring birds of Florida, which has long stood guard in the Putnam lobby, will be preserved, along with an ancient dugout canoe that has hung from the ceiling above one or another of the hotel's bars for as long as locals can remember.
Dorian's grandfather, Earl Brown, created the diorama for the State of Florida exhibit at a World's Fair.
If the Putnam's new owners don't want to incorporate the diorama and canoe into their restoration, Dorian suggested the historic items might be displayed in the new Earl Brown Park activity center, whose construction is just getting under way in DeLand's flagship park.
Earl Brown Park is named in honor of Dorian's grandfather, who also served as DeLand's mayor. His younger brother, Robert H. Brown, managed the Hotel Putnam during its heyday, until the family sold the property in 1960.
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