SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was pretty quiet Tuesday on the South Warren Street side of the former Hotel Syracuse. On the inside, however, crews are working around the clock on what is now called Marriott Syracuse Downtown. It's expected to welcome its first guests in spring 2016.
"The big issues are going on in our lobby and in the Persian Terrace where our restoration contractor is in and doing mock ups of the painting that will go in and the restoration of all the finishes and also doing repairs to all the plaster that was damaged over the years," said Ed Riley, Marriott Syracuse Downtown owner.
All this work allowed them to uncover some artwork hidden under the paint on the ceiling.
"We discovered quite a bit of stenciling, quite a bit of hand paintings which we will go back through and with our curators restore," said Riley.
Riley said the biggest challenge in restoring a 90-year old building is getting all the mechanical and electrical systems up to date, but progress is being made. On the upper level floors, the model rooms have been approved and reviewed.
"The rooms that the vast majority of people will see in this building are modern rooms. They're not rooms that are historic in character. They're actually two rooms to one. The bathrooms are something you'd expect in a brand new hotel that was built today," said Riley.
Although the rooms will have modern aspects, it pays tribute to the hotel's history through artwork and detail. These rooms have photos of the train system in Syracuse and the Erie Canal.
"We try to tell the story a little bit of the hotel and the community," said Riley.
This isn't the only hotel being constructed in the area but the owner feels it can offer something new. Riley says this hotel not only drums up nostalgia but also one-stop shopping for all of your hotel needs.
"You can have your meetings here, you got good accommodations, you can eat here, you can cater here,” He said, “From a catering aspect to have your events here to celebrate here to have weddings to have parties."
Even with more work to be done they have already began booking for that, so some are already realizing this landmark's potential.
Riley says tours are available of the model rooms and more information can be found here.