The Eitel Building at Second and Pike, first completed in 1904, has reopened as 91-room State Hotel. The late-March opening follows a dramatic restoration by developer Lake Union Partners (LUP), architects Weinstein A+U, structural engineers Coughlin Porter, and contractors Exxel Pacific.
Despite the prime location and landmark status, the Eitel Building hasn’t been fully occupied since the 1970s. In a conversation with neighborhood group Downtown Seattle Association last year, LUP detailed the complicated restoration process, which, after going so long without updates, needed a lot of work, like seismic retrofitting and other major code upgrades. The team ditched the building’s light timber framing and coming back through with concrete, plus adding new plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems.
“We began this project three years ago with a local team, from our investment partners to the general contractor. It started out with a commitment to the preservation of this important historic building, and we are working to reconstruct something we hope the city of Seattle really likes,” said Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners in a statement on the hotel’s opening. “While it was a much greater cost and technical challenge to repurpose the building than to tear it down and rebuild, its character and creative design are things we know our guests and neighbors will enjoy and appreciate.”
The end result: 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 was maintained, adding a new steel-and-glass canopy.
The guestrooms, part of an interior look by Vida Design, go for this blend of historic and modern. While the total renovation means a refreshed interior, the decor harkens back to the building’s turn-of-the-century roots, with brass finishes and wainscoting-like headboards. (They still have the standard modern technology, like flat-screen TVs.)
The lobby and restaurant—called Ben Paris—go for the same aesthetic, augmenting the original tall window bays, hardwood floors, pendant lights, and a wide boxbeam ceiling 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.