The Twenties were roaring and the exuberant international Art Deco style of architecture was just coming into vogue in early June 1924, as the steam shovels of Cleveland, Ohio, contractor Hunkin-Conkey rumbled onto the site on South Main Street where the Mansion House had welcomed guests for the past hundred years. Their task: to begin construction of a more modern lodging, The Poinsett Hotel.
Under the supervision of the J.E. Sirrine Company, it took $1.5 million and a crew of some 250 masons, carpenters, mechanics, and others 12 months to complete the L-shaped “12-story pile of steel and stone,” designed by noted New York architect William Lee Stoddart. At the time, Stoddart declared The Poinsett, with its luxurious marble and ornate plaster finishes, to be the finest hostelry in the South.
As the Greenville News crowed on June 21, 1925, “The Poinsett Hotel is the embodiment, in brick and steel, of the spirit that has made Greenville and that will make a greater Greenville”—words that still ring true today.