The Society Hotel in downtown Portland brings new life to an old sailor’s hotel and provides adventurous travelers with a uniquely local experience.
Part hotel, part hostel, The Society Hotel combines affordable lodging with direct accessibility to the heart and soul of the city. Conceptualized by four partners—building contractor Matt Siegel, friends Jessie Burke and Jonathan Cohen, and colleague Gabe Genauer—the goal was to build a visible and positive influence in a dilapidated area of downtown Portland. The hotel is now a new lodging typology that has launched renovated growth in the area.
A variety of spaces provide a balanced blend of retreat and community. In addition to a 24-bed bunk room and 38 private rooms and suites, guests can mingle in a lobby space with a lounge/cafe, and a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the city.
Built in 1881 and dubbed The Mariners Building, the structure originally housed sailors before becoming a hospital, and later a Chinese dance hall before becoming vacant in 1975. Local architecture firm Integrate Architecture led the restoration of the building, focusing on maintaining the cast-iron storefront, brick and stucco walls, and completely overhauling the interior. (The upper floors, untouched since 1945, revealed furniture, clothes, WWI-era newspapers, and other artifacts in just the state they had been left.)