Current Renovations Spur Rediscovery of 1920’s

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is currently being renovated by its new owners, Rubell Hotels. As they are not as extensive as the renovations in the early 1980’s (which required closing the hotel for a year), these updates should be complete sometime in spring 2014.

Lord Baltimore Hotel general manager Gene-Michael Addis recently discussed the changes with Frederick N. Rasmussen of the Baltimore Sun:

“”The original chandelier in the lobby was sold off during one of the bankruptcies to pay bills,” said general manager Gene-Michael Addis.

“The Rubells fell in love with the hotel and have a vision of what they want to do here, and we’re going to keep the ’20s feel in the lobby,” said Addis. “We’re turning this into a four-star property.”

The hotel was redesigned by Scott Sanders, a New York and Hamptons-based interior decorator whose specialty is American style.”

Details of the renovations include changes to many of the public areas:
“The former Versailles Room on the second floor will emerge as a French restaurant. It will be named the Matisse Kitchen and Tavern* after the extensive collection of Matisse paintings collected by Baltimore’s Cone sisters that are now at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The catering manager who will oversee the food operation is executive chef Bryan Sullivan.

Other public spaces to be renovated are the first-floor coffee shop, which will be rechristened as the Lord Baltimore Bakery. The Lord Baltimore Library and Tavern, which will replicate a European pub, will feature book-lined walls and an operating fireplace, with seating for 40.

The old Oak Room in the lower-level lobby will be restored and used for private dining, said Addis.

The massive Calvert grand ballroom with its two vintage Baccarat crystal chandeliers will be returned to its 1928 grandeur.”

Finally, one of the most interesting and unintended consequences of the remodel is the coming resurrection of the hotel speakeasy:
“Addis made a startling discovery: a room in the southwestern corner of the building that had originally been a speakeasy during Prohibition.

“We’re putting it back and we’re going to call it Speakeasy,” he said.”

Share your ancestors’ speakeasy stories with us! Email stories@lordbaltimorehotel.com and give us the secret password…

*Note: The restaurant will NOT be called Matisse Kitchen and Tavern due to trademark concerns; instead it will be called French Kitchen. (11/21/13)

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