Western New York Heritage

Endnotes: That Old Saying about Hearts and [Shirt] Sleeves. . .

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While the old saying about “wearing your heart on your sleeve” doesn’t quite apply, when the Hart House Hotel became the Newell Shirt Factory in 1918, Mr. Hart may very well have been wearing the shirts – including sleeves – made there.

The Robert H. Newell & Company, Inc. manufactured custom-tailored shirts for 86 years. What appears to be an early-1920s Cole Aero Eight Sport Sedan in the lower left, identified by its unique octagonal rear and rear quarter windows, helped date the photo.

Courtesy of Andrew Meier

Located at 113 West Center Street in Medina, the 145-year-old, ivy-covered, red brick, three-story building was built around 1876 by Jacob Gorton. Originally known as the Gorton House, it was soon bought by banker, congressman and philanthropist Elizur Kirke Hart, and the name changed to Hart House Hotel. It operated as a first-class hotel until 1918 when it changed owners once again. The building then became home to Robert H. Newell & Company, manufacturers of custom-tailored shirts whose clientele included Bob Hope, Warren G. Harding and Winston Churchill. Newell & Company remained in business for the next 86 years.

Today, the building is owned by Andrew Meier, a Medina-native and lawyer with a passion for architectural restoration. The site has been completely renovated and once again houses the Hart House Hotel, a law firm (WSM Elder Law) and a meadery (810 Meadworks), plus a cafe and cocktail bar (Shirt Factory).

To see more of this historic building and take a stroll through time, visit our online Pictorial content here:

That Old Saying About Hearts and [Shirt] Sleeves ... [Pictorial]


The full content is available in the Summer 2021 Issue.