Fascinating Press Hotel in Portland, Maine restores both structure and heritage

Magnificently reborn in Portland, Maine, The Press Hotel is located in what was once the Gannett Building, housing the offices and printing plant of the Portland Press Herald, the state’s largest newspaper.

The tapestry brick and stone building in Portland’s historic Old Port District was constructed in 1923 and an adjoining structure added in 1947. The newspaper operated there until 2010.

In 90 years since the building’s debut, its location in the cobblestoned Old Port District has become one of the country’s most successful revitalized warehouse districts, seamlessly blending Portland’s working waterfront with a walkable neighborhood of historic buildings housing shops, restaurants and residences.


Vintage typewriters affixed to wall.
Photo credit: Hipstorical

In 2012, Portland real estate developer Jim Brady put the building under contract and announced plans to open Portland’s first independent boutique hotel.

Aptly named The Press Hotel, it retains virtually all of the building’s architectural details, including its vintage exterior lettering and the newspaper’s “City Room” repurposed as the Inkwell Bar.

Many of its artifacts have also been salvaged, including a scale used for weighing the huge rolls of newsprint right down to the ounce. This unique piece will find a new home in the Fitness Center (naturally). The extensive rehabilitation and adaptive reuse to a boutique hotel was completed and opened to the public in May 2015.


Letterpress letters used as art.
Photo credit: Hipstorical

According to Hipstorical., a blog about repurposed places, “Behind the front desk, the newspaper theme continues with a letterpress art installation featuring letters of all sizes, fonts, and colors. The orange letters spell “resurgam,” which means “to rise again” in Latin. It’s Portland’s motto.

The letterpress work can also be found on the hotel directional signs throughout the hotel’s hallways, pointing to rooms and meeting spaces in the hotel with names like ‘The Newsroom,’ that reflect the hotel’s history.”

Taking inspiration from 1920s writer’s offices, each of the hotel’s exquisite 110 guest rooms and suites feature a vintage-styled journalist desk, wood floors with herringbone area rug, and 100% local artwork, including a woven wall tapestry by Angela Adams. The historic building boasts oversized windows in every guestroom, providing natural light and fresh Maine air during your stay. Playful newsroom references abound, including thought-provoking quotes and occasional one-liners in the most unexpected places.

See the Press Hotel website.

See Kelsey Knoedler’s full blog in Hipstorical.

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