Ocean Forest Hotel

Woodside Brothers Impact

A wealthy businessman’s dream of an oasis in the beach front forests of South Carolina’s northern coast were fulfilled upon the completion of the world renowned Ocean Forest Hotel. Referred to as the jewel of the south, the oceanfront hotel enticed celebrities and the wealthy elite alike.

The 1920’s saw the rise of John T. Woodside as one of the wealthiest men in the state of South Carolina. His success in cotton mills, banking, investments, and the hospitality industry within Greenville meant he was financially secure enough to endeavour on his most outlandish plan yet: an almost Gatsby-like resort called Arcady. Referred to as a “recreational hideaway for America’s most prominent families”, Arcady was set to include amenities such as golf courses, polo, yachting, stables, and more.

After consulting with John D. Rockefeller, Woodside hired architect Raymood Hood to take on the project and construction began. No expense was spared as the Ocean Forest Hotel was constructed with Chandeliers imported from Czechoslovakia and Italian marble flooring. By the time the hotel was able to open it had gained nicknames such as “wedding cake hotel” and “million dollar hotel”.

Unfortunately for John T. Woodside his Arcady would never be. The Ocean Forest Hotel was completed in 1930, several months after the stock market crash in New York at which point Woodside had lost most of his assets. The hotel was foreclosed on and never received the attention it would have under the management of its creator. After decades of decent success the outdated hotel was in too much disrepair and met the same fate as the Woodside Building in Greenville. The Ocean Forest Hotel was imploded in 1974 and Woodside’s dream of an elegant resort was replaced with cheap motels.