The 15-story Winecoff Hotel next to Macy’s on Peachtree Street was billed as “absolutely fireproof” when on Dec. 7, 1946, it burned, killing 119 occupants in what remains the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history. Three of those who perished were Albany High School students Julie Nell Hall, Marianne Scherle, who like many others in the hotel were attending a YMCA Tri-H-Y conference, which included participating in a mock legislature at the Georgia Capitol. Georgia Tech student Arnold Hardy won a Pulitzer Prize after capturing a photo of 41-year-old Atlanta secretary Daisy McCumber leaping from the hotel. Mrs. McCumber was critically injured, but survived. The Winecoff did not have fire escapes, fire doors or sprinklers. In the following months, fire codes were quickly changed nationwide. More information is at www.winecoff.org. The Albany Journal publishes “Vintage Albany” photos, most of which can be found on Facebook, every week.
- Published: 1476 days ago on August 18, 2010
- By: Tom Knighton
- Last Modified: August 16, 2010 @ 5:27 pm
- Filed Under: Vintage Albany