As early as 1796, when the Golden Horse Inn stood at the crossroads of Franklin and Howard Streets, this spot was popular destination for Baltimore residents and visitors alike. The Inn, operated by W. Forsyth, was attached to a large stable to the north on Howard Street and was one of dozens of taverns combinations in Baltimore that served the area's many travelers.
By 1857, the old Golden Horse Inn had been substantially remodeled and its new proprietor, Mr. Daniel McCoy, added two additional stories and renamed it the Franklin Hotel. McCoy's enterprising successor, William Dephy, started his empire next door at the Golden Inn Stables in 1860 and soon opened the Swan Hotel at Franklin and Eutaw Streets, eventually taking over McCoy's Franklin Hotel. The building was renamed the Academy Hotel in the early 1880s, perhaps taking inspiration for the new name from the Natatorium and Physical Culture Society (now the site of the Mayfair Theater) built next door in 1880. By the time of Delphy's death in 1898 the Baltimore Sun remembered him as "one of the best-known hotel proprietors in Baltimore."
As wagon trains and turnpikes were replaced by the railroads, many inns and taverns along Howard Street came down in favor of new banks and theaters. In 1902 when James L. Kernan announced plans to build the Congress Hotel next door, the Academy Hotel was threatened with demolition as many speculated that plans for the new building might become considerably larger if neighboring properties , including the Academy, could be acquired at a reasonable cost. Despite threats, the Academy, widely regarded as a quaint little hostelry and a landmark in the theatrical world, remained in operation for decades. It was renamed the New Academy Hotel after 1915 and became the Stanley Hotel in the early 1920s.
In recent years, the building has stood vacant and deteriorated significantly. While a ghost of the painted New Academy Hotel can still be seen on the crumbling western wall of the brick structure, quick action is clearly needed to preserve this landmark of Baltimore's turnpike past.