PORTLAND,OR—The historic Governor Hotel here reopens officially today as Sentinel, following a $6 million renovation by locally based Provenance Hotels and Dallas, TX-based Woodbine Development Corp.
Provenance Hotels, which owns and operates this city’s Hotel Lucia and Hotel deLuxe, purchased the Governor Hotel in April 2012 in partnership with Woodbine Development Corp. and did an extensive renovation of the historic 100-room hotel, including all guestrooms, four floors of meeting space and the lobby. Jackknife, a new destination for cocktails, wine and beer, is slated to open in Sentinel’s lobby shortly.
The Sentinel project is the first collaboration between Provenance Hotels and Woodbine, a company that has been developing, renovating and repositioning hotels since the 1970s. “Transforming historic properties has been one of our specialties, and this hotel afforded us a great opportunity to apply our skills,” stated Woodbine’s Managing Director Dupree Scovell. “The physical transformation called for a new name that tied back to the buildings’ architecture and origins.”
“Sentinels look around, look out and look back if it helps them look forward,” added Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels. “We felt, as we returned the two historic buildings that make up Sentinel to their original grandeur, it was appropriate to name the hotel in their honor.”
Built as the Seward Hotel in 1909, Sentinel’s East Wing was a favorite among the movers and shakers in the state’s timber and mining industries. It was renamed the Governor Hotel in 1932 and served as the home of Atiyeh & Bros. carpet store after WWII when the building’s fortunes fell into decline. The complex that houses Sentinel reopened in 1992 under the name Governor Hotel with the integration of the adjacent building. Sentinel’s West Wing, built in 1923 as the Temple of Portland Elks Lodge No. 142, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and now serves as the gateway to the Sentinel.
Guests now enter under a new glass-and-steel awning into a grand space with soaring ceilings decked out in original gilt plaster relief. A custom-designed, check-in desk inspired by a vintage librarian’s table evokes the many stories of Sentinel, while a Turkish-inspired rug, green leather armchairs and roughhewn wood tables provide a seating area and reference to the building’s retail history, Oregon’s landscape, and the region’s heritage as a timber capital.
Like all Provenance Hotels, Sentinel has a signature art collection. In this case, it pays homage to visionaries who made history and changed the world. In the guest room corridors there are black-and-white white photos of a young Muhammad Ali, the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious, and Martin Luther King Jr. In the guestrooms, guests will find pop art takes on visionaries from John Lennon to Steve Jobs to Jackie Robinson.
Sentinel’s guestrooms, painted an emerald tone, features linen pillows screen-printed with antique bicycles, silver owl statues, vintage lunch boxes and metal globes. Working fireplaces are featured in select rooms and, on the sixth floor of the West Wing, six City Terrace Studio Suites feature outdoor rooftop balcony patios. Six Bridgetown Parlor Suites designed for Sentinel by Portland’s Boy’s Fort, a retail store and design studio, feature original pastel drawings of Portland’s bridges, framed Oregon botanicals, light fixtures from Portland’s Schoolhouse Electric and objects d’art handcrafted in or inspired by the city..
There’s also 23,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.