The old Hotel Belleville, most recently the Meredith Home, is a familiar location just off the town square in downtown Belleville. The six-story art-deco style building designed by Walter P. Manske opened in 1931 following years of fundraising efforts during the Great Depression by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, who saw a need to encourage visitors to stay in town. The first floor of the building originally included a two-story lobby, office and retail space (including the original location of Blanquart Jewelers).
In 1961, the Catholic Diocese of Belleville purchased the building, and the following year reopened it as the Meredith Memorial Home, a retirement community. It continued to provide homes for the elderly until the city bought the building in 2010. The city’s mortgage on the building was paid off by an individual in 2011, with the idea that the building would be torn down, and a public park built in its place, but the funds for the demolition aren’t currently available. The future of this structure remains uncertain, but one this is for sure–the downtown Belleville “skyline” would not look the same without it!