Fairfield Arts & Convention Center previous location of Turner Hotel in Fairfield

November 17, 2010

Hotel Turner, Fairfield, Iowa.
Located at 200 North Main Street where the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center now stands, the Turner Hotel offered Fairfield’s finest accommodations and a widely-renowned restaurant for nearly thirty years.

As early as 1911 it was called the Court Hotel, probably for its proximity to the Courthouse, but was considered a second-class hostelry before Mrs. May Bean Turner refurbished and rechristened it in the mid-1930s. May was already famed for her cuisine as a cook for the old Leggett House, and the elegant new Turner Hotel became the place to meet for a chicken dinner after church, as well as the place of choice for wedding receptions. Her daughter Hazel and son-in-law John M. Montgomery (son of Presbyterian minister Willis W. Montgomery) managed the restaurant and the Hotel Turner in 1937; they lived nearby at 107 East Briggs Street.

Pressed for space to house its burgeoning student population, Parsons College was leasing the Turner Hotel for a dormitory when it burned down on December 27, 1967. Fortunately, all the students had left for Christmas and the hotel was empty. An exhibit of Parsons College memorabilia now occupies this corner of the F.A.C.C.

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