The hotel, by then named the Gilbert Hotel, in 1939
|Location||Southwest corner of Government and Palafox Streets|
|Current Owner||Jacob Kryger|
|Completion Date||c. 1882|
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
In 1892, Kryger added the Bijou Saloon on the ground floor of the hotel.
- 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.
Gilbert Hotel era
The hotel's name was changed to the Gilbert Hotel in 1934 after it was sold.
DeSoto Building era
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 site is currently occupied by a parking lot.
Illustration of the Merchants' Hotel from the Wellge map.