A&E Architects PC renovates Lake Yellowstone Hotel

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America, is nearing the completion of its two-year $28.5 million overhaul. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-June.

Construction of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel began in 1889 - before a second national park even existed - and was completed two years later. The original hotel was a three-story clapboard structure with 80 guest rooms. During 1903 and 1904, architect Robert Reamer oversaw a major renovation and expansion project that increased the room count to 210 and included building extensions to the exterior front gables, 50-foot Ionic columns, dormer windows on the roof, false balconies to the windows and decorative oval windows on the building's front wall. Over the years, Reamer added the porte cochere in 1919 and 1937, the east wing with 113 rooms between 1922 and 1923, a tile fireplace and drinking fountain in 1923 and the Sun Room in 1928. The end result was a classic national park hotel built in the "Colonial Revival" style of architecture along Yellowstone Lake.

A&E Architects PC is the renovation architectural firm.

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The current renovation of Lake Hotel, as the property is often called, began in the fall of 2012 to provide seismic stabilization and return some of the historic aspects of the Colonial Revival style. The project is being completed in two phases.

Completed in June 2013, the first phase was undertaken during winter 2012/2013 and included major structural enhancements, renovation of the lobby, Sun Room and dining room, bringing back the hardwood floors, colors, period lighting and compatible furnishings of the period. The registration desk, bell desk and bar were renovated and in some cases, redesigned. A new concierge desk was also added.

In the first phase, corridors and 43 rooms were renovated which included new finishes, lighting and carpeting that reflect the period. The windows and doors were either restored or replaced where necessary. Four suites were added, and the presidential suite was renovated in the west wing of the hotel. An ADA-compliant passenger elevator was added for additional accessible rooms on the upper floors, and a new business center was also added.

The second phase of the project began after the hotel closed for the season in the fall of 2013, and renovation is continuing with completion occurring this June. This phase of the project includes the renovation of the final corridors and 134 rooms in the east wing of the hotel similar to the other rooms in the first phase. The passenger and service elevators are being replaced. The delicatessen is being renovated and expanded. Hotel offices are being relocated into a space outside the main hotel building, allowing for hotel spaces to be expanded for the guest services.

While conducting the renovations, the construction contractors placed an emphasis on retaining the historic character of the hotel with authentic touches, including the restoration of the original windows, public spaces and rooms as detailed in the construction drawings by the historic preservation architects. Workers removing wood trim and windows that were more than a century old kept track of each piece. Care went into reassembling the hotel's historic fabric, and the workers were committed to salvaging as much of the material as possible in a sustainable way for reuse.

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