Thursday, July 14, 2016

Signature Inn Canton, OH

aerial imagery courtesy of Bing Maps
One of seven locations opened in 1989, the Canton location began business on April 19, 1989.  This hotel was built on a hill overlooking Belden Village Mall to the west, on the other side of I-77.  It contains 124 rooms.
This photo was taken from the neighboring McDonald's and was meant to show the difference in elevation between the hotel's property and that of the surrounding area.  The hill the hotel is on contains 5 other hotels and a church.
This hotel was sold in late 1993 or early 1994, about two years after Signature Inn exited its bankruptcy.  This is one of nine hotels the company sold off between 1992 and late 1994.  This hotel became a Comfort Inn after its sale and has remained such to this day.

At some point through the years, the hotel had been renovated, as shown by the new coat of paint on the roof.

The front of the hotel
Going by what I've seen from some of the other properties, I think the full line of skylights on the canopy was pretty much a thing of the past at this point.  Most of what was built around this time and after appears to only have skylights above the lobby area.
The hotel's entrance canopy.  The skylight area can be seen in this photo, inside the lobby's glass area.

Up until early June 2016, the only time I ever set foot inside a Signature Inn was back in 1991 when my family stayed in the Signature Inn Cincinnati North.  Since starting this research project and blog, I made it somewhat of a mission to find an opportunity to stay in a former Signature Inn.  Well, an opportunity came up in June and I took it without thinking twice.  In fact, Canton was not the only one I stayed at for that trip, but the other one will come up in another post somewhere down the line.

I think what may have been my favorite feature of the hotels, besides their exterior design, is the lobby.  The curved staircase that sits front and center, as well as the glass wall that lines the staircase and balcony definitely add a touch of class to the hotel.  Even though they were designed as a mid-priced hotel, the atmosphere (at least for its time, back in the mid-1980s) was a little more upscale.

the hotel's lobby and staircase
The check-in desk has been through a renovation, but it's still in the same spot and retains basically its same setup.

The lobby's upper level included (and still does include) a computer for business use and a sitting area.  Of course, the front windows let in plenty of natural light during the daytime.

Off the lobby in the lower level is the breakfast area.  It has a glass wall to help create a division between the eating area and the lobby:

The hallways are pretty nondescript, but they are nice

A photo of one of the guest rooms:

The room was clean, comfortable, and about what one would expect for a mid-range hotel.  One of the neater features about the room was something I like to think was original to the building -- the room's lockset:

This hotel retains its S-shaped pool, a typical feature of Signature Inns.  Most of them, like this one, were outdoor pools.

And now for some newspaper goodness...

newspaper photo showing the hotel's construction progress 

classified ad advertising for help.  This particular ad ran under 3 months ahead of the hotel's opening.

LEFT: advertisement for the hotel's 4/19/1989 opening   RIGHT: advertisement for the hotel's 5/25/1989 grand opening

A May 31, 1989 photo of the hotel's manager on the spiral staircase

I took the photo from the newspaper advertisement above and tried to get one of my own photos from about the same vantage point.  LEFT: 5/31/1989   RIGHT: 6/8/2016

7/26/1993 advertisement for the sale of this particular hotel, along with the one in Cleveland.
a classified ad that ran just after the hotel's sale and name change
Even though this hotel wasn't the first Signature Inn I stayed at (in fact, it wasn't a Signature Inn when I DID stay here), seeing this hotel perched atop its hill on my many trips to the Canton area does warrant this hotel a special place in my heart as well.

sources for this post include the Stark County, Ohio, auditor's website and imagery found through Bing Maps.  Newspaper ads courtesy of The Akron Beacon Journal archived at

Photographs not accredited in their captions were taken by me.  These and additional photos can be found here: Formerly Signature Inn by Ryan on Flickr with a special Canton album here: Former Signature Inn, Canton, Ohio