Winecoff Hotel (Ellis Hotel) and the Cotton Blossom Room

Site Narrative

Built in…,

George Augustine Hyde (2010) was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and raised as a Southern Baptist in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bishop George Hyde held meetings for LGBTQ+ folk in the hotel as he worked to establish ____.

According to Hyde, “The management of a gay bar and the Winecoff Hotel financed meeting rooms. He rented a hotel meeting room next door to where the bar is. And we had
our meetings there. And then they’d help pay for the rent on this old house that
we had. But that first Christmas Eve liturgy was not held in a gay bar, or even the
Winecoff Hotel, because the place was boarded up, having burned on December
the seventh.” (2005 oral history).

The Winecoff Hotel remains the site of the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.


Heys, Sam and Allen B. Goodwin. The Winecoff Fire: The Untold Story of America’s Deadliest Hotel Fire. Longstreet Press, 1993.

Carnegie Library

“Back when I was a young man, gay people were referred to in Atlanta as ‘festive.’”

George Hyde

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