Merchants' Hotel

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Merchants' Hotel
The hotel, by then named the Gilbert Hotel, in 1939
Building Information
Location Southwest corner of Government and Palafox Streets
Current Owner Jacob Kryger
Completion Date c. 1882
Date Demolished 1970
Size Three stories

Merchants' Hotel, also known as the Gilbert Hotel and the DeSoto Building, was a commercial building located on the southwest corner of Palafox and Government Streets, on Plaza Ferdinand VII. For most of its life, the building was home to a hotel.

Merchants' Hotel era[edit]

The hotel was opened by Jacob Kryger circa 1882 as Merchants' Hotel. It is noted with illustration on the Wellge map of 1885.

In 1892, Kryger added the Bijou Saloon on the ground floor of the hotel.

A 1905 business directory indicates that the hotel was in operation beginning in at least 1882:

MERCHANTS HOTEL – Has a capacity of 42 guests. Rooms rent at the rates of $2.50 and $3.00 per day. Mr. Jacob KRYGER has conducted the house for over 23 years and is assisted by his chief clerk, Mr. C. J. BELL.

In the years before the San Carlos Hotel was constructed, Merchants' Hotel was one of the preeminent hotels in the city. Famous guests included Sarah Bernhardt, John Drew Jr., and Richard Mansfield.[1]

Gilbert Hotel era[edit]

The hotel's name was changed to the Gilbert Hotel in 1934 after it was sold.

DeSoto Building era[edit]

Sometime between 1939 and 1944, the hotel was closed and the Gilbert Hotel name was shifted to another hotel owned by the company on East Wright Street. By 1950, the building had been converted to office space and rechristened the DeSoto Building.


The building was demolished beginning on October 31, 1970. City officials had condemned the building, by then in a state of disrepair, after owner Ollie Delchamps refused to renovate it.[1]

The site is currently occupied by a parking lot.

Other images[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Historic DeSoto Will Be Destroyed". The Pensacola News. October 30, 1970. p. 14. Retrieved June 4, 2019 – via