The Notary Hotel

A refreshed look and design by Premier Project Management, the Notary Hotel offers luxury amenities with a boutique feel for those traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

With its historic building designation and prime location directly opposite Philadelphia’s City Hall, the newly branded Autograph Collection property—The Notary—occupies a desirable niche in the coveted downtown Philadelphia market. Premier Project Management was scoped with interior design, purchasing, and project management for this Autograph Collection hotel. Located in the iconic City Hall Annex in downtown Philadelphia, the repositioned landmark property boasts all the amenities of a luxury brand while maintaining the nuances of a boutique hotel.

Inspired by the building’s legacy of civil service, Premier Project Management’s design team celebrated civic flair through the unique furniture and historical artifacts. The design team’s primary goal was to refresh the hotel by highlighting clean, contemporary lines and materials while simultaneously capturing warmth and nostalgia through the addition of wood grains, ‘collected’ artifacts, and intimate lighting levels. By incorporating pieces with an air of formality, The Notary’s high-end materials reiterates the timeless, luxury experience of the Autograph brand.

Capturing the Autograph brand’s four pillars of ‘Vision, Unique Design, Mark of Craft and Sense of Place’, Premier Project Management’s design celebrates The Notary in locally relevant and elevated ways, creating the perfect welcome into the portfolio of independent Autograph properties. The hotel lobby’s new marble floors and millwork were seamlessly integrated to accentuate the integrity of the building—a design feature also highlighted by fluted glass details that are a nod to the original building’s 1926 construction. The existing cast plaster ceiling was retained along with the structure’s original stone walls. A color palette of green, dark blue, gray, and warm metal accents underscores the nostalgic ‘old world’ feel.

The art collection throughout The Notary was curated to accentuate the narrative of the historical building. The original bronze revolving door vestibule was left intact, but transformed into an enclosed capsule, housing a custom neon sculpture that celebrates the “City of Brotherly Love.” References to the 1920’s are abound, nodding to the building’s history as a government facility for over 70 years. Sourcing men’s hats from this era, the design team bronzed these objects to create art pieces that sit on pedestals at the entrance. The registration desk has individual mounted name plates, reminiscent of those found in early 20th century post offices. A custom display case shows off vintage ‘20s typewriters, and custom hand-tufted area rugs provide warmth through pattern.

The Notary offers an in-house destination Spanish Tapas restaurant, complete with an active bar scene, attracting both locals and tourists to cement the hotel’s status as a downtown Philadelphia mainstay. The restaurant, Sabroso+Sorbo, has a color-story that is underscored by celadon green and blush, accented by black and ivory. Hand-carved ornate wood mirror frames flank the bar, and handmade spanish ceramic pottery is displayed on shelves throughout, complementing the Spanish fare. Handmade ceramic pendant lighting hangs over two sets of dining tables. Hand-carved wood panels are used as sculptural pieces, which are back-lit and mounted against a banquette wall for a dynamic aesthetic.

The dichotomy of old and new continues into the guest corridors—new wallcoverings featuring historical photographs juxtapose the contemporary architectural lighting. Guest rooms capture the perfect balance between the old and the new; found vintage objects are utilized as accents throughout, complemented by the retro-fluted glass. Custom artifacts are displayed on in-room desks, which boast campaign-style hardware, and pattern is celebrated through carpet design, including plaid designs that are a nod to the early 20th century New England aesthetic. Through incorporating neutral wall coverings, eclectic design details are emphasized.

Where the iconic location had previously been underutilized, the new hotel will cater to the upscale guest, providing a best-in-class luxury experience through design elements that capture a contemporary aesthetic while highlighting elements connected to Philadelphia’s rich history.

Design: Premier Project Management
Photography: Michael Kleinberg