Onesto Hotel History
Opened on August 20, 1930, the Onesto Hotel was one of the most modern and lavish structures of its day. Onesto’s exquisite jewel-like lobby was adorned with Travertine marble staircases and terrazzo flooring, brass railings, marble benches and walls, American walnut woodwork, Italian Renaissance ornamental relief ceilings, and a stunning crystal chandelier.
Francis A. Onesto built a hotel that became a Canton icon
The hotel remains an icon to this day, much like Frank himself. While walking through downtown Canton, 15-year old Francis Onesto noticed a sign for “Porter Wanted” at the Delmont Hotel and Restaurant. After going in to the establishment and asking for the job, Francis Onesto started working at the hotel for fifty cents a day. He worked two hours before school and seven hours after school, gaining experience and teaching him all he needed to know about the business. By 1910, Frank Onesto, now manager, decided to purchase the Delmont Hotel, becoming the owner at the young age of 18. But he dreamed of a larger and grander establishment for the corner of 2nd Street and Cleveland Avenue, and in 1929 the Delmont was torn down to make way for the now historic hotel, The Hotel Onesto.
Turning a dream into reality
Frank Onesto pioneered the Onesto Hotel project with a band of community investors and The Onesto Hotel Co. was formed. No expenses were spared in the construction of the 12-story Onesto and despite the recent crash of the stock market, hotelier Francis A. Onesto persevered and opened the crown jewel of hotels in downtown Canton. The 12-story Italian Renaissance property featured the latest comforts of the time along with the finest furnishings and amenities available.
Frank is remembered by the Canton community and those he worked with and served as a hardworking and generous man. “He was like a godfather to me. I always take flowers to his grave and remember him. When he gave, his left hand did not know what his right hand was doing. He did it quietly. He did not get up on a podium and do it for the attention. I got more out of working for him than all my college or working years. He taught me you do it now. You do not procrastinate.”- Margie Wolf Scherrard (Frank’s former employee at the Onesto)
A gem of its time and a popular destination for many
At the forefront of luxury hotels, all 200 rooms in the grand hotel featured hand-type telephones and a private radio, seemingly standard technology for our modern times, but was the talk of the town in 1930, making the hotel an attraction for visitors of the city.
The hotel also featured many convenient first class amenities for its guests, including Paolo’s Barber Shop, a ladies lounge, restaurant, coffee shop and the popular Crystal Lounge. The Hotel Onesto was the main place to stay in the area during its golden age, and this premier hotel hosted many celebrities and prominent figures, including President John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Al Capone. Many small and large events took place at the renowned Onesto, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Enshrinement Ceremony in 1963.