Home Green Design Historic Hotels of America Highlights 25 Shining Examples of Adaptive Reuse

Historic Hotels of America Highlights 25 Shining Examples of Adaptive Reuse


There are many upsides to adaptive reuse, of course. Converting an existing building into a hotel eliminates the huge environmental cost of materials—their manufacturing, their transportation to the site, and the resources involved in the assembling/construction of those materials. If the building has unique characteristics, the preservation of them creates a story that will live on in the “new” hotel.

Historic Hotels of America, an official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, recently announced The 2024 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Best of Adaptive Reuse list. The list spotlights 25 richly preserved historic buildings that were not originally built to be hotels.

According to Historic Hotels of America, guests can spend the night in former factories where Ghirardelli chocolate and world-class cork products were produced or make a historic Masonic temple their home base while exploring New Orleans. One historic hotel featured on the list is a former junior high school that embraces its past with “hall pass” guestroom keycards and signature cocktails like the Prom Queen. Another historic hotel featured on the list is a former train station that curates train-car-themed suites, named after ticketing agents who once worked there. Others offer dining inside a historic bank vault and historic smokestack.

Be sure to check out the list of very cool spots to stay.

One of the buildings, the El Convento Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, dates back to 1646. It was once a Roman Catholic convent for nuns of the Carmelite Order. The Inn at Leola Village, established in 1867, is a collection of charming 19th-century farmhouses, barns, and other buildings that once supported a historic tobacco farm. Originally a seed company warehouse in Detroit, Michigan, when the city was considered to be the “Seed Capital of the World,” Atheneum Suite Hotel offers contemporary travelers 173 elegant suites with views of the city’s skyline.

In a press release detailing the 25 historic hotels, Lawrence P. Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide, said, “Historic hotels preserve the past to serve the present, making them a beacon of sustainability, as well as fantastic destinations for solo travelers searching for new experiences, couples in need of a romantic getaway, and families setting out to make lifelong memories. Historic Hotels of America applauds forward-thinking investors and hoteliers who see potential in historic buildings, as well as the guests who choose to stay at historic hotels. At Historic Hotels of America, the ‘people saving places’ are the guests, hotel staff, and the hotels’ communities, who support these special places throughout the year.”