On May 1st 1888, the Leland Hotel opened at the corner of West Fayette and South Franklin Streets. At six stories tall with over 100 rooms, the Leland was one of the largest hotels in Central New York. S.C. Hayden & Company, a “leading furniture and interior decorating firm of Central New York” according to the Syracuse Herald, furnished the Hotel offices
Its grandeur would be short lived, however, as only two years later the hotel was completely destroyed by one of the worst fires in the city’s history. The fire started early in the morning and was out of control by the time it was discovered. Several guests were trapped on the upper floors and were forced to jump out of the windows to escape the inferno. At least six people were killed and dozens more seriously injured, including actress Cora Tanner, who was staying there while in town for a performance at the Grand Opera House.