You Can Now Sleep in a Former Newsroom
The Press Hotel in Portland, Maine creatively continues the story of an old newspaper building
Rather than construct a completely new building, some of the more interesting boutique hotels around the globe are giving old commercial building a second life. The Press Hotel in Portland, Maine which opened in May of this year occupies the Gannett Building that formerly housed the offices and printing plant of the Portland Press Herald newspaper. Lincoln provided us a chance to stay at the hotel as part of our test drive on the 2016 MKX.
The main Press Herald building was constructed in 1923 with an addition completed in 1947. Design firm Stonehill & Taylor together with architects Archetype restored the exterior and kept the original character of the building intact.
The lobby, which used to house the reporter’s desks of the busy city room, contains many journalism echoes from the past.
Behind the lobby desk is a sculptural letterpress wall, and the lobby desk itself is clad with wooden fins resembling type hammers on a typewriter.
The work of Maine artists are featured throughout the hotel. The lobby in particular showcases a two-story antique typewriter installation created by students at the Maine College of Art. There is also a lower level gallery space that displays a rotating collection of work by local artists which is open to the public to see.
The hallways of the upper guest floors are lined with a custom wall covering designed by Stonewall & Taylor. They worked with Portland Press Editors to select headlines from the newspaper’s past and collaged the text into a pattern. Typewriter letters appear to scatter across the floor in the design of the custom carpet.
Each of the rooms have just enough of the building’s former news office character to be charming without being cheesy. The desks in each room were designed to mimic the look of the original wooden kind used by reporters. The room stationary is a nod to old-school beat reporter note pads.
Vestiges of the original printing press area can be found in the basement in the workout room. The original paper weighing scale now anchors the fitness center.
The Press Hotel feels designed rather than themed – the continuation of the building’s original history has been executed with just the right touch. History has been presented with a modern spin and not made into a museum, which is a tough balance to strike.
Photos: The Press Hotel/Irvin Serrano, Dave Pinter