Berry Hotel, 1892-1974
Backstory and Context
Edward C. Berry began his career as a bricklayer before opening several small businesses. After finding success as restaurant owners, he and his wife Mattie Berry opened this modest twenty-room hotel in 1882. This establishment soon became the premier hotel in the city. The Berry Hotel boasted a restaurant, barbershop, coffee shop, and ballroom and grew to include ninety rooms at its peak.
Berry sold the hotel in 1921, allowing the couple to retire in style, purchasing land and building a substantial home while also donating land and funds to Mount Zion Church. Edward Berry died a decade later. During the Great Depression, the hotel was purchased by a local car dealer who modernized the building. Ohio University purchased the hotel in 1961-a time when the university was growing rapidly. The building served as a dormitory throughout the 1960s but proved to be a financial liability to the university and the board of trustees approved its demolition as part of a larger cost-savings plan in 1974.
"Berry Hall" Ohio University Archives Digital Collections.