Top Hotel Saranac restoration projects identified

SARANAC LAKE – The new owners of the Hotel Saranac have identified their top historical restoration projects for the 87-year-old iconic downtown hotel.

New Hampshire-based Roedel Companies, in a news release, said it plans to restore the hotel’s storefront facades, arcade, terrace, ballroom and second-floor lobby. Roedel Companies purchased the hotel in December from the Arora family for $1.4 million. The hotel will remain closed during the renovations and reopen sometime in 2015.

Fred B. Roedel III, a partner in Roedel Companies and president of its construction arm, ROK Builders, said these projects will restore the building to its historic grandeur and reposition it to meet the needs of today’s travelers.

“Built over 80 years ago, the goal is to retain as much of the original architecture, flooring and fabric as possible,” Roedel said in the release. “We are also focusing our efforts on preserving the layout and character of the building.”

Roedel Companies is in the early stages of hiring the architectural and design teams it needs to complete the renovations. However, working with its historical consultant, Kimberly Alvarez of Albany-based Landmark Consulting, the company has identified several key projects:

Storefront facades: Roedel Companies will restore the dressed limestone walls and glass storefronts around the perimeter of the hotel’s ground-floor level. The company says the project will emphasize and reinstate the urban, commercial function that historically contributed to the vitality of the village and Main Street.

Arcade: Closed off in 1977, Roedel Companies is exploring ways to bring back the original arcade which ran the width of the building and connected the front entryway at Main Street to Academy Street. The renovation will focus on features of the arcade that remain intact, including its marble terrazzo floors, bronze and plate-glass storefronts, and decorative plaster walls and ceilings.

Terrace: Situated above the front retail spaces and enclosed by a decorative balustrade, Roedel Companies will refurbish and reopen the Hotel’s open terrace. The company says the area will serve as a sidewalk cafe and offer guests views of the mountains and lakes, while also being part of the hustle and bustle along the village streets.

Second-floor lobby: The second-floor lobby, also known as the grand hall, was originally modeled after a Renaissance-era Italian palazzo, the Davanzati Palace. As part of the renovation, Roedel Companies will conserve the ornamental beams on scroll brackets, the marble staircase, the decorative ceiling painting, the fireplace and the original chandeliers.

Ballroom: Located off the second-floor lobby, the formal dining room, or ballroom, has been the venue for countless Winter Carnival balls, New Year’s Eve parties, social galas, wedding receptions, high school proms and other special occasions. The room’s oak-paneled walls, crystal chandeliers, decorative plaster ceilings, arch-topped windows and French doors will be restored.

In addition to these projects, Roedel Companies plans other renovations that it says will bring the hotel up to modern standards but not detract from the overall historic character of the building. The company will renovate approximately 80 guest rooms with new bathrooms, furniture and decor. A parking structure will also be constructed to support the hotel.

Roedel Companies is using its subsidiary companies to complete the renovations and manage the hotel. ROK Builders will oversee the renovations while RSJ Associates will provide interior design and procurement services. RGH Hospitality, the hotel management subsidiary of Roedel Companies, will run the hotel.