A Clearwater Florida icon has reflected the history of a nation over nearly a century.
Online PR News – 22-January-2022 – Clearwater, FL – With the dawn of the New Year, the Fort Harrison – a Clearwater icon – celebrates 95 years of service to the community. The hotel has provided a respite for visitors from all over the globe and has served a community meeting place for Clearwater since the facility opened for its first season in 1927.
A 1927 tourism brochure boasted “The Fort Harrison Hotel, located in the heart of the city, just off the Bay and Gulf, is one of the finest hostelries in the state. It has 253 rooms, each with a private bath; it has a two-story roof garden, a front promenade, a tropical garden in the rear, and offers the best of appointments and service at moderate rates.”
The Fort Harrison would go on to see its own place in several facets of Clearwater history.
While in its off-season, the Fort Harrison provided berthing for soldiers during World War II, before they embarked to battlegrounds in the Pacific. The 588th Airborne Squadron was known for its shows entertaining the locals and a regular column in the Clearwater Sun, reporting on the antics of young men adapting to military life.
The Fort Harrison also served as a Spring Training home for three major league baseball teams – the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Cleveland Indians and the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It was the Phillies who brought the Civil Rights movement to the Fort Harrison,” said Lisa Mansell, Public Affairs for the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. “In 1961, when the hotel refused to allow black guests, the team walked out en masse to find more amenable quarters. By the next year, the management of the hotel relented and allowed all of the Phillies players to stay together under one roof.”
“The Fort Harrison also famously served the Rolling Stones on their first American tour – where they wrote the anthem ‘Satisfaction’ after their concert was shut down by local police for being too rowdy,” said Ms. Mansell.
The Church of Scientology purchased the Fort Harrison in 1975 and the property has undergone several renovations – the most extensive being that in March of 2009. The facility now serves as the international religious retreat for the Scientology religion, welcoming guests from all over the world.
For an inside tour of the Fort Harrison and the Flag Building, go to http://www.scientology.tv. Guests are also welcome to learn more about Scientology at the Scientology Information Center at 500 Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater. Call 727-467-6966 for more information.