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The Bland Hotel, Raleigh, N.C.

Our Flashback Friday postcard this week features — ta-dah! — The Bland Hotel. The name alone compels you to check right in, doesn’t it? Or maybe not. More than that, this postcard poses many more questions, as well.

Oct. 21 / 38

Dear Mr. Bedney:
Many thanks for for the package of match covers. They were fine. I’m sorry the postmarks were not cut properly but may have some more for you later.
Yours very truly.

[signed] L.B.


Now, here’s the puzzle. How did a Raleigh postcard depicting the Bland Hotel end up being sent from ‘L.B.’ in Canada to ‘Mr. Bedney’ in Minnesota? And what’s the deal with ‘match covers’ and ‘improperly cut postmarks’? And who’s the seller here? Mr. Bedney apparently sent the ‘package of match covers’ to L.B., but L.B. apologizes about the ‘improperly cut postmarks’ and will have ‘more’ to send to Mr. Bedney ‘later.’ Go figure.

The Bland Hotel was built in 1912, and was located at the corner of Salisbury and Martin streets, prominently situated on the streetcar line, and just two blocks from Raleigh’s Union Depot. An ad in the 1915 Raleigh City Directory states:

T.L. Bland, Proprietor
New — Fireproof — Modern
European Plan
125 Rooms, $1.00 and $1.50 per day
Large Sample Rooms Free

‘Large sample rooms’ — Hmm, maybe The Bland catered to a traveling salesman clientele.

By 1942 the hotel had been renamed The Andrew Johnson — “The Hotel Everybody Likes.” (1942 city directory)

With the gradual decline of downtown Raleigh in the 1960s, the Andrew Johnson entered into a steady decline as well. By the 1970s the building had been stripped of its distinctive medallion-crowned parapet and its balconies and marquee; its street level had been ‘modernized’ with plate glass windows, and a porn shop operated out of one of its storefronts. By then it had essentially morphed into a cheap ‘residential hotel,’ or flophouse. An elderly resident died there as a result of a fire in 1971.

In the early 1980s, the N&O acquired the derelict structure and demolished it to accommodate the expansion of its printing plant.


This week’s ‘art colored’ post card was published by Raleigh stationer James E. Thiem, and was printed in Chicago by the Curt Teich Co. (C.T. American Art Colored’)

Curt Teich Co.   1893-1974
Chicago, IL

A major publisher and printer. Their U.S. factories turned out more cards in quantity than any other printer. They published a wide range of national view-cards of America and Canada. Many consider them one of the finest producers of White Border Cards. The Linen Type postcard came about through their innovations as they pioneered the use of offset lithography. They were purchased by Regensteiner Publishers in 1974 which continued to print cards at the Chicago plant until 1978.


“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week-end treat!

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