Destination Renovation: New Life for Classic Hotels & Buildings

By Bob Neal

Cooper Carry’s Hospitality Studio is extending the life of older buildings and creating new energy for historic hotels across the country, with projects underway such as the renovation of the revered Charleston Place Hotel. As we dream of the day we can all start travelling for leisure again, here are some of our latest hotel renovation projects.

Cliff House, Cape Neddick, ME

For Cliff House, recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top Destination Hotels in the US, Cooper Carry teamed with Rockbridge Hospitality to reimagine the 1872 iconic Maine oceanfront landmark, attracting a new community of travelers.  This Southern Maine escape, described by guests as “spectacular” and “luxurious,” features a complete resort renovation including newly designed guestrooms, suites, public spaces and resort grounds.

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park, El Paso, TX

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park was listed by Travel and Leisure as “One of the Hotel Openings to look forward to in 2020” and is now on numerous “must visit” lists.  This hotel originally opened in 1930 as the first high-rise in Conrad Hilton’s hotel empire and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Art Deco-inspired historic hotel in downtown El Paso signifies the reinvigoration of a destination that celebrates diversity, artistry and community.  Cooper Carry led a design team including local architects In*Situ, and The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry which designed the Ambar restaurant, Tequila Bar and rooftop bar, La Perla, offering spectacular views of El Paso, New Mexico and Mexico. This hotel renovation was completed in Summer 2020, and has since won numerous awards, including the 2021 Eagle Award from the American Association of Builders & Contractors, the AIA El Paso Jury Prize, and the BDNY Gold Key Award.

Medical Arts Building, Atlanta, GA

This 12-story Neoclassical Medical Arts Building was designed by prominent regional architect G. Lloyd Preacher and completed in 1927. The lower levels originally housed a pharmacy, an optician and other health-related businesses while the upper floors housed medical offices. Cooper Carry is rehabilitating this building, which stands on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta and has been vacant since 1995, into a 160-key boutique hotel.

Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA

The Key Bridge Marriott, originally built in 1959, was Marriott International’s second property ever built and is currently the longest operating hotel in their system.  The site is prominently located on the Potomac River in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington County overlooking Washington DC and includes the proposed renovated hotel tower. With this prominence both in the Marriott family and within Arlington, the design team has focused on not just updating the property to today’s standards, but also creating a preeminent hospitality experience that connects the guest to the history of the site and to the natural assets that surround it.

Learn more about hotel renovation and the Hospitality Studio at Cooper Carry.

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