For many years Ogden, the railroad center of the Rocky Mountain region, suffered from the lack of appropriate hotel facilities, and thousands of travelers both pleasure-seeking tourists and business men passed by the city after a few moments' stop at the depot, who other-wise would have remained a day or two in the town. This deficiency was finally supplied by Mr. John Broom, an old-time citizen and a man of enterprise, who, in April, 1882, commenced the excavation for the foundation for the Broom Hotel, on the corner of Main and Fifth Streets, where formerly a row of low wooden
structures had served as permanently dangerous firetraps.
The Broom Hotel covers an area of 66 feet on Main Street, by 100 feet on Fifth Street. The part of the building on Main Strict fronts to the east, and that on Fifth Street faces to the south. It is built of the best fire- proof brick and is three stories high. On the first floor on Main Street there are three elegant stares. The first room on the floor on Fifth Street is 30 x 60 and is designed for the office, baggage room, etc. The billiard hall is 30 x 52 feet, and its appointments are equal to any other on the Pacific Slope. At the west end of the building and facing the south is the apartment 15 x 60 feet, fitted in neat, tasteful style and occupied by Mr. John G. Chambers, the pioneer bookseller, newsdealer, etc. On this floor in the west end of the building are the culinary departments, the kitchens, larder, laundry, etc., with ranges and all other appliances of the latest improved styles. Water is abundant for all necessary purposes.
On the second story there are 34 elegant hotel parlors, with bay windows fronting the south and east. In addition to these is the magnificent dining hall, 52 x 28 feet, splendidly arranged, lighted, and painted. The third story also contains 35 rooms similar in size and construction to those on the middle story, with bath rooms and all other conveniences. This handsome structure has nine double-bay windows, artistically ornamented, and supported with Corinthian columns. The architecture is, in some respects, similar to that of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. From the roof it is lighted by seven large crystal skylights.
The Broom Hotel was designed and constructed by Mr. J. C. Matthews, architect, Oakland, California. The rock work in the foundation, etc., was done by Mr. D. J. Doyle, the brick work by Mr. Joseph T. Johnson, the carpenter work was superintended by Mr. J. E. Blethen.
The plastering was clone by Messrs. Taylor & Shupc, the painting by Mr. Robert Wilson. The erection of this splendid structure cost between $60,000 and $70,000, exclusive of the furniture, which has been imported from the East, and cost $25,000. It is the finest edifice and best hotel between San Francisco, Cal., and Denver, Col. The Broom Hotel was opened on January 15th, 1883, by Mr. A. D. Shakespeare, under whose management the patronage of this hostelry has so rapidly increased that an addition of 33 feet front is being built to it, on the north side, of the same height and style as the main building.