Preserving a landmark


Built in 1924, the Granville Inn has a long and celebrated history as a destination for fine dining and lodging.

Denison has announced that it will purchase the much-beloved Granville Inn.

The Board of Trustees has been researching options related to the historic property since it was listed for sale and then placed in receivership last year. The goal was not necessarily to procure the Inn for Denison, but instead to make sure that this important local property was saved and revived. To that end, the college worked with other prospective buyers along the way. Urban Restorations LLC, a Columbus-based business, was seriously considering the purchase of the Inn, and when they bowed out, Denison stepped up to commit to the purchase.

“The Granville Inn’s facilities and functions are vital both to the village and to the college,” said Seth Patton, vice president for finance and management at Denison. “We feel fortunate to be able to act on this opportunity to invest in our remarkable community and in this iconic property.”

He added, “We believe it is important for the continued health of the village and surrounding area to keep the Inn viable. Not only is it a significant local employer, but its services are important to Granville’s downtown and to Denison visitors, as well.”

Built in 1924 in the style of a traditional English Jacobean Revival manor house, the Granville Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its hand-cut oak paneling and native sandstone walls are signature features of its renowned architect, Frank L. Packard.

The Inn will remain on the village tax rolls and will continue to be operated in its current use, and it will be managed by a separate entity hired by Denison.

“Denison certainly did not plan to become an innkeeper,” said Patton, “but because of the strong ties and shared interests between Denison and Granville, we are committed to this project. The goal is to enhance the Granville Inn, making it a vital and successful business. Weighed against all others, there may be more attractive investment opportunities from a purely financial perspective, but few that are more important to Granville and Denison.”

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10:49 AM September 20, 2013

Frederick S. Coombs III ( ’72) wrote:

So what’s the price? How much of my requested Annual Fund contribution goes to pay for this?


11:05 AM September 20, 2013

University Communications wrote:

A clarification from Seth Patton, vice president for finance and management: “The Granville Inn represents an investment by Denison. It is different from a typical endowment investment in a couple of important ways. A separate corporation is being created to own and operate the Inn. It will not function as a non-profit extension of Denison, but rather it will be a for-profit venture, with all activities fully taxable, the same as any other private for-profit entity. Annual Fund gifts to Denison have no relation to the purchase or operation of Granville Inn. A strong management company will be engaged that is committed to excellent service and a profitable operation. I’m not sure whether the court receiver wants the price to be made public yet, but it will be a matter of court record within 30 days. The purchase price will likely strike you as low. Significant additional investment, however, will be required to restore the Inn, which hasn’t seen major improvements for many years.” Thanks for your question, Fritz, and thank you for staying engaged with your alma mater!


11:08 AM September 20, 2013

Howard Fencl ’79 wrote:

Tremendous strategic move! The Inn is an economic development driver for Granville, and its history is inextricably entwined with Denison’s. Perhaps now, with DU’s careful choice of a management company, the Inn will get the TLC it needs and deserves. And I certainly would not mind if 100% of my Annual Fund contribution went toward this initiative. And, it will pay dividends to Denison in town and gown relations. Now, about the Buxton…


1:17 PM September 20, 2013

Ann Broderick ’81 wrote:

That’s great!!! So glad to hear it! Thanks to the Denison Board for looking at the university and town as a whole ,living, body that need eachother and that the Granville Inn is a vitally important
organ in that body. It’s nice to see a town and educational institution united for the good of both.


10:25 AM September 21, 2013

Alison Hardy wrote:

Great! This is a lovely inn and deserves some TLC. Running it as a for profit venture is the right way to go. Town and Gown working together!


4:31 PM September 21, 2013

Harrison Bubb ’61 wrote:

Good decision. Berea college owns the Boone Tavern (and hotel) – probably purchased for similar reasons.Might be a model for Denison.


8:42 PM September 23, 2013

Nancy T Hylbert ’66 wrote:

It’s where I got my Figi pin. Great plan


12:27 AM October 1, 2013

Helen Gelhot wrote:

Marvelous and SMART; the correct move!



8:53 PM October 6, 2013

Jean Hurley wrote:

Awesome attitude. Denison makes me a proud associate. I love the University and the Inn. Bravo!


9:27 AM October 17, 2013

Tim Ross wrote:

Perhaps Denison could partner with a hotel/dining company to manage it and use Denison students to handle the business as well as all other areas of hotel management as appropriate? Might even be able to create a concentration in hotel/resort management. Music and drama students could provide entertainment. I have stayed at the Kenjoy Inn and the Inn at Ohio Northern. I look forward to staying at the Granville Inn.


11:27 AM October 24, 2013

Paul Cummings wrote:

This is great news! Not only was my wife, Louann, the Sweetheart of Sigma Chi at our annual formal at the Granville Inn too many years ago, our daughter and new son in law got married on the inn’s front lawn this August. Granville and Denison are both much better off with a healthy Granville Inn. It is still very charming but some new carpeting and other amenities won’t hurt! Well done Denison!


11:50 AM October 24, 2013

John W. Manchester wrote:

I think that in coming years, Denisonians will come to think of “The Inn” as a very natural extension of Denison … and … as “The Granville Inn, part of Denison … why of course it is!” Many small liberal arts colleges have some kind of lodging/gathering space for visitors. But most of these colleges do not have a lodging/gathering space as historic as “The Inn.” Wishing Denison great years ahead with The Inn!


12:43 PM October 24, 2013

Susan Putman wrote:

Please renovate so we can enjoy again!!


12:47 PM October 24, 2013

Jack Landis wrote:

Congratulations for this purchase! It has long been a haven for alums and parents and now may continue it’s proud history in Granville. Many years ago Mike Gregory used to treat the Kappa Sig chapter to his famous “smokers” which are still remembered by we old alums.

Jack Landis ’51


1:36 PM October 24, 2013

Nancy Harvey Fisher ’69 wrote:

The purchase of the Granville Inn is an interesting project for Denison to take on. We always enjoyed eating and holding parties there. I’m wondering how the golf course fits into this package.


1:48 PM October 24, 2013

Beverly Gage wrote:

We were happy and relieved to hear that Denison would buy the property and preserve it for today’s families and future generations. Thanks to all that look to what is best for the community


1:50 PM October 24, 2013

Mark Hoffmann wrote:

I like the idea. There’s not a student alive who doesn’t have a memory or two relating to an event at the Inn. It has also traditionally been a suitable venue for a broad variety of gatherings and occasions. That tradition will now be allowed to continue.


1:53 PM October 24, 2013

Lisa Stevens ’78 wrote:

Proud to see Denison participating in the preservation of its historic community. The Inn is important to Granville, meaningful to alums and useful to the University. A very good move!


2:53 PM October 24, 2013

Barbara Wadman wrote:

I am absolutely thrilled that Denison is doing this wonderful thing! Bravo!


5:06 PM October 24, 2013

J. P. Brennan wrote:

Good thinking. Now, maybe some thought for Hotel Management courses like Cornell and Paul Smith College?


5:47 PM October 24, 2013

Peggy Anderson wrote:

What a great idea. Although I haven’t been to Denison in a long time, I am thrilled that the Granville Inn will be maintained for future generations.


9:27 PM October 24, 2013

John Theobald ’67 wrote:

Kudos to DU for its forward thinking and recognition of a gem that has been so intertwined with the school for so many years. You could probably raise millions to renovate it with little difficulty!


12:40 AM October 25, 2013

Mary Carol Perrott (’65) wrote:

My husband and I stayed in the Inn in the summer of 2011. At that time we both had several mobility challenges. Turns out that the Inn had never installed an elevator due to its status as an historic landmark. We were on a long trip at the time and our suitcases were very heavy. The manager had to recruit a waiter from the dining room to carry our bags up the very high staircase and to bring them down again the next day. In the 21st C, most travelers expect some modern conveniences mixed in with the charm. They need to get an exception from the Historical Society so they can install an elevator! Most public buildings are easily accessible for folks with disabilities.


9:17 AM October 25, 2013

Brian Ehrle wrote:

I support the purchase of the Inn and it brings back many memories. I was one of those students who had to pay for their education and began as a waiter at Shepardson(Freshmen Girls Dining Hall) I was invited to work as one of two waiters at the Inn and found I could sometimes make as much on a Sat night at the Inn as all week at Shepardson. I worked at the Inn for 3 years, sometimes up to 35 hours per week, and couldn’t have made it through Denison without the income. My mentor at Shepardson was Molly Aber and the owner of the Inn during my time there was Sally Sexton – what a character.


8:12 PM October 25, 2013

Susan Bowling wrote:

I like the comment posted by Tim Ross re: possibility of hotel management training for Denison students under the umbrella of a successful hotel management team. I had a room last June for the 1963 50 yr. reunion.


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