The Hotel Syracuse, a historic Syracuse landmark built in 1924, lay vacant for 10 years after it was closed in 2004. Now construction crews are hard at work renovating the building for a 2016 re-opening.
TWC News reports that a $57 million renovation is well on its way. Starting last fall, the project will restore the hotel to its former prestige as well as update it for the 21st century.
“I think it will be an excellent hotel,” said Edward Riley, the developer responsible for the project. “It will be a first class business hotel to serve the community, it will also have the social catering, I think it will be the leader for the social catering market in all events.”
The renovations are part of a wider effort by Syracuse officials and community leaders to revitalize the city. Officials hope that the hotel will host events and gatherings that will attract people from the rest of the state and, for that matter, the country.
“One of the best assets of downtown is our group of historic buildings that are here, and to be able to utilize those resources that exist and improve upon the buildings that have been here for centuries. It’s really a great opportunity,” said Adria Finch, a specialist of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse Economic Development.
So far, the construction efforts have focused on demolition and abatement work for the guest rooms. Construction crews are also revamping the hotel’s heating, cooling, and electrical systems and are working on refurbishing the ceilings, walls, and tiles.
“This type of work is very sophisticated. Over time, stone retains moisture, which can cause it to flake apart or oxidize, which causes it to crumble and crater in places,” said David Hadidian, owner of Bay Shore Cleaning & Restoration. “The process to restore it is very delicate and timely. However, most stone surfaces in your home do not require that type of extensive restoration work.”
Though much progress has been made, this year’s particularly harsh winter resulted in delays, especially for work on the exterior of the building.
“We didn’t get as much done on the outside as we’d like to,” Riley said, “but that’s going to change now with the weather breaking, so we’ll start to get the roof taken care of, we’ll start to take care of some of the exterior elements of the building.”
Developers says that they intend on keeping the grand ballroom, the private dining areas, and the lobby among other areas. They are insistent, however, on updating what they can in an effort to merge the old with the new.
Once completed, the Hotel Syracuse will be an official partner of the Syracuse Convention Center. Developers are already showing visitors the uncompleted building to attract private events, such as wedding receptions, at the venue. The hotel is set to open in March of next year.