The Windsor looks Forward to Celebrating its 132th Anniversary

Published 5:50 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

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Manager Frank Ceresoli gave an interview recently on the upcoming 132nd anniversary of The Windsor, which will be celebrated on the 15th with a commemorative dinner in Rosemary and Thyme at 6 pm. He talked about the hotel’s significance: “If you look back at the history of Americus, it’s been an up and down history all along. I mean, the city is still here, this hotel is still here, still doing what it [was] intended to do. I think it reflects our community. It’s more than just a historical landmark.”

He told how when the hotel opened in 1892, it was 100 rooms. “Got to keep in mind, back then, there was no inside plumbing or bathrooms. There was no need for closets because most people traveled with what they own.” The renovations reduced it to 53 rooms.

He talked about the famous visitors the hotel received, including Al Capone, Shoeless Joe, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But for Ceresoli, the most fascinating part of the story is local. The Windsor closed in 1974, but was brought back to life in 1991. He talked about how residents supported the restoration, buying bonds in order to get the hotel back up on its feet. “There isn’t a lot of cities this size in rural areas like this, that would invest millions of dollars to open a hotel back up.”

Ceresoli contrasted it to the fate of other towns, and how the dedication to preserve the hotel reflected the dedication of Americus to preserve itself. “You can see ghost towns all over this Country where there once [were] railroads that came through. Interstate systems came in years later, all the monopolies and businesses moved closer to the interstates, and those small towns really sort of died off.”

He talked about his role and the role of the Edgewater group, which plans to invest approximately 3 million further into the hotel. “I really want to be a chapter in that book, that we do what we can do to keep this asset so my kids and my grandkids, and hopefully their kids will be able to enjoy and be as awestruck as I was the first time I walked into that lobby.”