Maine’s historic Portland Press Herald building has been turned by New York-based Stonehill & Taylor into a contemporary 110-room hotel that celebrates its newspaper past. The modern aesthetic of the hotel’s public spaces – reception, four lobby lounges, a local art gallery and bar – exude an urban sophistication, while allowing guests to experience the building’s history and celebrating the writer’s trade.
A sculptural light fixture, with glowing cubes against dark walls, floats above the entryway leading to the reception. The reception area, painted in a “greige” color has reclaimed wood columns, herringbone-tiled floors, and original coffer ceilings. Natural grey and navy tones dominate with pops of orange accents. A ribbed design carved into the front of the wood reception desk recalls the skeleton of a ship – a reference to Portland’s port and shipbuilding trade. On the wall behind the reception desk, a large dimensional art piece made of large painted type letters adds a pop of color.
The hotel serves as a showcase for Portland’s emerging artistic expression. The lobby lounges, a dedicated gallery space, meeting rooms, and guestrooms all showcase art from hand-picked local artists. The design team did studio visits, gallery tours and in-depth research to find the best representation of Portland’s artistic talent.
Referencing the building’s history, Stonehill & Taylor worked closely with Press Herald editors on selecting content from the newspaper’s pages that were weaved into the design. The lobby lounge tables feature newspaper headlines from the Press Herald that span the last 150 years. In the guestroom corridors, actual headlines from the Press Herald were used to create newsprint-inspired wallcoverings. Built into the original basement floor is a scale, originally used to weigh newspapers, repurposed as a unique art piece in the fitness area.
The guest room design is inspired by a 1920s writer’s office. Wood floors with herringbone area rugs give a residential feel. Burnt orange and navy are weaved in as accent colors throughout the room. Prints by local artists decorate the walls. Artist Angela Adams, from Portland, designed a woven wall tapestry for the guestrooms. The desk, styled after a vintage writer’s desk, stores all appliances. A newspaper rack hangs current copies of periodicals, putting print back into the room. The back of the leather office chair is embroidered with the classic phrase containing every letter of the alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. The bathroom with a reeded glass door similar to those in historic newspaper offices, has walls made of culcutta marble and a large danby marble counter.
Head over to The Press Hotel‘s website for booking information, with room rates starting at $219 USD per night.
all images courtesy of Stonehill & Taylor