January 19, 2014

Historic Hotel Saranac restoration looks to details

SARANAC LAKE — Roedel Companies has outlined the first few details of historic preservation that it has planned for the Hotel Saranac.

The company purchased the iconic downtown building in December and has researched the early architectural elements that date to its first design.

Corporate partner Fred Roedel III traces his family’s roots in Saranac Lake back to his great-grandfather, who worked for hotelier Paul Smith. 

He also is tracing the hotel’s roots, working from original plans from construction 80 years ago.

“... the goal is to retain as much of the original architecture, flooring and fabric as possible,” Roedel said in a news release.

“We are also focusing our efforts on preserving the layout and character of the building.”


Toward that goal, Roedel and his company, ROK Builders, hired an historical consultant, Kimberly Alvarez of Landmark Consulting in Albany, to prioritize elements of the restoration.

Storefront facades, an arcade, the terrace, second-floor lobby and the dining room are key points, according to historic details that Roedel shared.


The entryway to the building once was an arcade reserved for shops and commercial interests.

The plan, Roedel said, is to restore the limestone walls and glass on the first-floor level.

“The project will emphasize and reinstate the urban, commercial function that historically contributed to the vitality of the village and Main Street,” he said.

An arcade in the original building connected the front doors on Main Street to Academy Street. The passageway, with glassed-in storefronts, was closed off when the building was retrofit in 1977 for use by Paul Smith’s College.

“Roedel Companies is exploring ways to bring back the original arcade,” Roedel said.

“The renovation will center on the arcade’s original architectural features that remain intact, including marble terrazzo floors, bronze and plate-glass storefronts and decorative plaster walls and ceilings.”

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