On a corner of the historic Old Port neighborhood in Portland stands the Gannett Building, which dates back to 1923 and once housed the offices and presses of the Portland Press Herald, Maine’s largest newspaper. Now the building has turned over a new page with the opening of The Press Hotel, though its former incarnation is still imprinted in the hotel’s design details.
The interiors of The Press Hotel honor the golden age of print, from the installation behind the front desk making reference to blocks of letterpress type to the collection of vintage typewriters dancing across the lobby wall.
The 110 guest rooms are styled with a 1920s newshound in mind, furnished with oversized writer’s desks and slick black reporter’s notebooks to jot down inspirations, just as Herald stringers would have crafted their stories on approaching hurricanes or a record lobster catch.
Even the privacy signs come with a literary flourish, quoting Joni Mitchell: “My goal as a writer is more to comfort than to disturb.” The theme continues in the hallways, which are wallpapered with a collage of actual headlines pulled from old front pages of the Herald, with extraneous letters playfully spilling onto the carpets, while the scale once used for weighing the huge reams of newsprint has found an appropriate new home in the fitness center.
The Herald’s city room has been transformed into the popular Inkwell Bar, where barkeeps mix classic cocktails such as the Machias Pimm’s and Old Fashioneds, while executive chef Josh Berry is making a splash cooking up New England farm-to-table cuisine at the UNION restaurant.
The journalists and editors of this formidable building may be gone, but The Press Hotel is writing its own story in the historic Old Port neighborhood, itself in the midst of a culinary, cultural, and commercial rebirth.
the-press-hotel-guest-room The Press Hotel Guestroom, wherein they typographically minded find respite
press-hotel-registration-desk Elements of typography appear throughout the award-winning hotel
press-hotel-exterior Reborn as a hotel, the ediface itself began life as home to the Portland Press Herald