It’s Just One Big House!

With the Arts & Crafts Conference just three months away, I’ve been making regular trips up Sunset Mountain to the Grove Park Inn lately. As you may know, the Inn has new owners, and just like when we buy an older house, they want to make some improvements. And if you think about it, the Grove Park Inn is no different than any other ten-story house with 510 bedrooms, 533 bathrooms, a couple of fireplaces, and three kitchens.

Occasionally, it needs an upgrade.

Or, in the case of the Grove Park Inn, the opportunity to undo some earlier changes.

The first improvement came a few weeks ago, when the new owners, KSL Resorts, had the unsightly storage room located adjacent to the front doors to the Great Hall dismantled and removed to make room for more Arts & Crafts furniture.

In an effort to reduce congestion in the historic Great Hall, the owners are next planning to build a smaller front desk in the corner presently occupied by the concierge staff. The former front desk will then become another seating area, possibly sharing that space with a coffee service.

The concierge staff will then be moved further away from the front desk, most likely against the rear wall in the Great Hall.

Reversing an earlier trend to enlarge the bar and entertainment area, the plan is to drastically reduce the size of the bar in the Great Hall, and to construct a larger bar, lounge and music venue down the hall in the Sammons Wing. Their intent is to make the Great Hall more relaxing and quieter.

The six large oak-encased pillars in the Great Hall will be decreased in size. Originally covered with granite, these concrete columns will have to be again covered with oak boards, since electrical and plumbing lines attached to the concrete columns must remain accessible. The designers, however, have determined that they can reduce the size of the finished columns, giving the Great Hall a more open feel.

Finally, more than three hundred thousand dollars will be spent to make both fireplaces functional. In addition to new liners, special fans will be installed to draw smoke up the chimneys, enabling the staff to build fires in both fireplaces any time of the year.

In addition, the hallways and rooms in the 1988 Vanderbilt Wing, where both the antiques show and the contemporary craftsfirms shows are held each February, will receive an upgrade. New carpeting has been ordered for the rooms and hallways, which will also be decorated with Arts and Crafts artwork, lighting and new oak woodwork.

All in all, the plan to transform the Great Hall into an area more conducive to intimate conversation — while keeping its Arts and Crafts heritage intact — should be applauded. When completed, we will be able to enjoy the entire Great Hall rather than feeling squeezed into one corner by one working fireplace.

Stay tuned for more updates!

See you in February!


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