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Business > Dixie Hotel
This is Gainesville's Dixie Hotel (also called the Kelley Hotel), which never was finished. In the boom of the 1920s, it promised to be a major achievement. Work on a major hotel for Gainesville was begun during a period of great confidence and even greater speculation. The land on which it stands was sold for $46,000 on October 5, 1925, and again for $55,000 before the month was over. Real Estate Promoter W. McKee Kelley started the hotel, putting up $300,000 of his own money, and local investors were to put up another $300,000. Construction was begun in 1927. The deal, and construction, faltered when the hotel reached the 10th story. In 1929 the stock market crash wiped out hopes of completing the hotel, and it stood unfinished. Finally, in 1937, the building was finished when the Seagle family put up $20,000, the city and county governments each put up $10,000, and the state legislature appropriated enough to cover the rest. It is known as the John F. Seagle building. For many years it housed the Florida State Museum, with an ancient dugout canoe on display in the lobby.
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