Historic Putnam Hotel in DeLand being demolished

The historic Putnam Hotel in DeLand is coming down.  Crews began demolition on the century-old building after engineers said it was no longer structurally sound. 

Built in 1923, the Putnam Hotel was deemed unsalvageable, according to Chris Graham, with the City of DeLand. Several attempts had been made to renovate the building, including plans to turn the hotel into luxury apartments but that fell through.

"Unfortunately, that’s not going to be the case," Graham said. "The Engineer for the developer took another look at the building and determined that it’s at risk of collapse at any moment."

Over the years the building has been vandalized by trespassers. In 2017, it even caught fire, which police declared as arson. The city began soliciting companies last month for the demolition of the hotel, which was just a shell. 

Graham said the heart of the building bursts with memories.

"It has a lot of history. It was a place where people would go when they came to DeLand. It was the place to be," said Graham.

He said the hope is the property will be redeveloped in a manner that pays homage to the once-prestigious hotel.