The Eitel Building, first completed in 1904, is close to reopening as the 91-room State Hotel. The building at Second and Pike, despite its prime location and landmark status, hasn’t been fully occupied since the 1970s. That’s going to change this March with the grand opening of both the hotel and a ground-floor restaurant and bar. It’s one of a few hotels in restored, historic buildings popping up around Pike Place Market, including another historic restoration project by Palihotel.
After multiple attempts to revive the Eitel Building failed, Lake Union Partners (LUP) purchased the property in 2015 for $5.35 million, and got to work on the building’s restoration with architecture firm Weinstein A+U, structural engineers Coughlin Porter Lundeen, and general contractors Exxel Pacific.
Last year, LUP explained that completing the restoration while keeping the historic features intact is a long and complicated process, requiring seismic retrofitting and other major code upgrades. It involved ditching most of the light timber framing and coming back through with concrete, plus adding new plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems.
The end result will blend old with new: Seven stories of the original building were restored, but a modern eighth story was added on top for penthouse suites, a common deck, and a private rooftop bar for hotel guests. The original brick facade was preserved, with a five-story mural by Shepard Fairey was installed on the west side. The original archway entry will be maintained, with a new steel-and-glass canopy.
Despite the structural overhaul inside the original walls, the guestrooms will maintain a turn-of-the century look and feel, with brass fixtures, wainscoting, and simple pendant lighting—of course, with modern features like mounted flatscreen TVs.
The lobby and restaurant—called Ben Paris—also combine current and historic, augmenting the original tall window bays, hardwood floors, pendant lights, and a wide boxbeam ceiling peppered with more modern-day lighting and art.
Lake Union Partners is behind multiple projects around the city, including the Midtown Center in the Central Area. “We’ve been very much attracted to emerging corridors, neighborhoods with an identity, neighborhoods where we feel like we can complement what’s already there but be a part of the momentum that’s growing this city,” said LUP’s Joe Ferguson back in February.