Kimpton EarthCare Was Born and Raised In San Francisco
Eco-consciousness found fertile ground in Kimpton's early San Francisco hotels. In 1981, we started recycling trash at the Bedford, our very first hotel in San Francisco. In 1985, we renovated the Galleria Park Hotel in San Francisco to include a rooftop urban park on the building next door. In 1994, we opened the Eco Floor at the Hotel Triton. The paint, carpet, drapes, and furnishings were all earth-friendly and still are, making the Triton a model for sustainability nationwide. All of our hotels and restaurants began using 100% recycled paper and soy inks years ago. We replaced paper cups with ceramic cups in all our offices, across the country, removed phone books from our rooms, and brought in 100% green (and comfortable) Sealy beds and mattresses. The EarthCare program became mandatory at all our hotels and restaurants, nationwide, on March 17, 2005, as part of our commitment to social responsibility. And we're still making behavioral changes, every day.
Recycling Historic Buildings
Kimpton is well-known for restoring and revitalizing historic buildings. We preserve the integrity of architectural masterpieces, turning them into luxury hotels without sacrificing their original beauty, and most importantly, maintaining the inherent value of the original building. This work is at the core of our EarthCare program, and we are proud of reviving so many architectural masterpieces, including office buildings, department stores, a telephone switching station and the 10th oldest building in the U.S. Historic preservation honors the inherent beauty and value of existing structures, allowing us to cut way back on the use of new materials and reduce our carbon footprint in a meaningful way. Here are some examples of our restoration projects.
Hotel Palomar Philadelphia. Kimpton's first hotel in Philadelphia is a beautiful recreation of the city's historic Architects Building. Constructed in 1929, this structure was a striking example of Art Deco architecture. It has been painstakingly renovated to incorporate its original decorative elements: the elegant penthouse ballroom and its original crown molding, the exquisite AIA Library, the ornate etched elevator doors, and the original chandeliers. This elegant example of adaptive reuse is also Kimpton's first LEED Gold Certified hotel.
The Hotel Burnham in Chicago. Our guests enjoy thoroughly modern, eco-friendly comfort in a building that was originally designed by a trio of visionary architects in the late nineteenth century. The radical steel and glass design of the Reliance Building set the precedent for the modern skyscraper. One of the first buildings in the United States to have hydraulic elevators, it ushered in a new era in architectural design that has since shaped the skylines of cities around the globe. In 1999, Kimpton carefully restored and resurrected this historic building as the Hotel Burnham.
The Hotel Monaco in Washington DC. This hotel occupies what was once Washington D.C.'s General Post Office. This was one of the first Federal buildings in the United States, constructed in 1839 by Robert Mills, the same architect who designed the Washington Monument. The Pony Express was conceived and launched here, and the building was turned into a hospital during the Civil War. It was the first marble structure in Washington, a tour de force of neo-classical design. Kimpton preserved the architectural beauty, quality and grace of this landmark building. By recreating a legacy, we also reduced the use of new materials and helped preserve the environment.
The Hotel Monaco in Baltimore. This grand structure was once the B&O Railroad headquarters. Designed by Parker & Thomas, this fabulous building opened its doors in1906. We have preserved the exterior, a dignified and monumental design, and its beautiful carving and ornamental work. That includes a figure of Mercury and an allegorical feature cradling a locomotive, an artful representation of transportation and commerce. In the lobby, interiors glow with beautifully-restored Tiffany stained-glass windows, marble floors, and splendid staircases. While designing a hotel with 21st Century comforts, we preserved the craftsmanship and artistry of the Belle Epoque, creating less impact on the environment.
The Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco. This San Francisco Kimpton hotel is located in the historic Haslett Warehouse, part of the old Cannery complex. The original building was constructed in 1907 as a fruit and vegetable canning plant, which the Del Monte Company eventually made into the largest peach canning facility in the world. While offering our guests contemporary style and comfort, the Argonaut Hotel faithfully preserves the building's original 1907 style of architecture and beautifully integrates with the Cannery and Fisherman's Wharf district. In fact, our guests roll out onto a courtyard that's part of the Cannery complex. Kimpton shares San Francisco's commitment to revitalizing historic districts, while reducing our own carbon footprint.
The Hotel Monaco Portland. The Hotel Monaco opened its doors in downtown Portland, Oregon in May 1996. The 1912 building, once the home of the Lipman Wolfe Department Store, now houses our 221-room Kimpton Hotel. Most of the guestrooms are one-bedroom suites featuring the unusual color combinations and cutting-edge style that Designer Cheryl Rowley is famous for. Her design team found inspiration in the original architecture, preserving and restoring the original ceilings and picture windows in the lobby. Edwardian elements contrast with contemporary touches throughout the hotel. In the process of reinventing the building's original architecture, we reduced the use of new materials dramatically.
The Alexis Hotel in Seattle. Built in 1901, the Alexis Hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Once known as the Globe Building, the hotel has quite a history. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed 33 city blocks and came to a smoldering end, right across the street. You can see some of Seattle's early storefronts, now part of "Underground Seattle," in the hotel's underground parking structure. The Globe Building once housed the Alaska Gold Standard Mining offices and the treasurer's office for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, held in 1909 during the Klondike Gold Rush. The building was renovated and reopened as the Alexis Hotel in 1982. Kimpton completed the Alexis' ultimate transformation in 1992, restoring the original architecture, while minimizing the use of new materials.
Hotel Monaco, Denver. The Hotel Monaco, located in downtown Denver, is currently a luxury hotel that invites guests to "indulge their senses." The hotel was recreated in 1998 from two historic buildings: the 1917 Railway Exchange Building and the 1937 Art Moderne Title Building, described as the "first fully modernistic building in Denver," by the Rocky Mountain News. These buildings have architectural significance, thanks to the architects, Fisher & Fisher. The Fishers were Canadian-born brothers who arrived in Denver as adolescents and went on to establish one of the oldest and most prestigious architecture firms in the Rocky Mountain region. Kimpton created the luxurious Hotel Monaco by restoring the work of the Fisher brothers and conserving the use of new materials.
Hotel Monaco, Salt Lake City. The Continental Bank Building was completed in 1924. It was 13 stories tall, but only three bays wide. This narrowness gave the building a uniquely vertical emphasis. Its design combined Second Renaissance Revival elements on the first two floors with an elegantly simple treatment on the upper floors. Today, you'll still see carved stone faces in the keystones above the arched windows and the simulation of a balcony with relief panels below the third story windows. When it was still a Continental Bank, the building housed the first drive-through bank in America. In 1999 the building was restored and brought back to life as the Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City. Those original bank teller windows now enclose the corridor and lobby of Kimpton's Bambara restaurant.