Nov 27, 2017

Historic Hotel Syracuse

I was so happy when I read that someone had purchased the Hotel Syracuse (our daughter had her wedding reception there years ago) and planned to restore it.  And restore it they did.  It is a member of Historic Hotels of America. If you haven’t been there you need to stop for a look-see. Like many of the luxury historic hotels the entrance is designed so that from
the street level it is necessary to walk up a short flight of stairs to get to the lobby. That way the grandeur of the lobby’s ceiling becomes the first sight.  The ornate coffered ceiling rivals many of those in European palaces. The ceiling alone is worth the visit but so is the mural behind the registration desk. The 40-foot mural includes vignettes that depict the scenes from the beginnings of Syracuse including the discovery
of salt springs near Onondaga Lake and the Jerry Rescue.  It had been covered for 30 years by mirrors. Several other murals have been discovered and restored including the one in the Persian Terrace that was covered by wallpaper and two coats of paint. I think I have a new travel goal – to stay in as many Historic Hotels as possible. 

As I was walking down the wide corridor lined with interesting photos to our room I noticed all the room doors were bowed.  There is a reason.  In the room there was a coffee-table book about the hotel explaining that doors are servadors. There are locks on both sides so that the occupant can hang clothing that needs attention in the door and the staff can pick it up and return it without bothering the guest.  Cool! The book was full of interesting tidbits of the hotel’s history.  In order to build the Hotel Syracuse the Hotel Truax was rolled across Harrison Street to a new location. Interestingly, it was moved while its guests continued to enjoy all the hotel services including hot and cold
running water, telephone, lights and room service. Not only was the hotel, weighting more than 6000 tons, moved across the street it was also completely turned around. Work began in April and wasn’t completed until July. In 1960 the building was demolished to make a parking lot.  In order to get approval to build the Hotel Syracuse it was decided that they would built it around the 4th Presbyterian Church which refused to move.  It too was later demolished. The Hotel Syracuse is the only four AAA Diamond hotel in Syracuse.  In fact, there are only a couple dozen in Upstate NY.  We had a bite to eat at the bar/lounge area of Eleven Waters.  It was once the barber shop and the faucets have been left in place.  

We were actually in Syracuse to see Cirque Du Soleil which gave us an excuse to stay at the Hotel Syracuse which is only a couple blocks from the Oncenter. It has been years since I had been there and don’t remember the excellent veterans’ display.  There are life-sized soldiers representing each war but the fascinating part is that most of the soldiers on display were from the Syracuse area.  

I am not a fan of circuses but Cirque Du Soliel is an amazing display of costuming and acrobatics.  John and I were duly impressed and awed by the performers’  agility and flexibility. Some of the feats didn’t seem humanly possible. .