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May 17, 2016 | Malcolm Johnstone
West Chester PA — Visitors staying in downtown West Chester, Pennsylvania, can enjoy the comfort of modern amenities while experiencing the historic elegance of Art Deco at the Hotel Warner.
While that fact has been recognized locally, it was officially noted in April by the hotel’s selection to be part of Historic Hotels of America, an official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To be selected into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.
“Centrally located to countless restaurants, sidewalk cafes, brew pubs, and eclectic shops, Hotel Warner is the only hotel in West Chester’s historic downtown,” according to a Historic Hotels of America website. “Stroll the historic streets and discover the rich architecture and vibrant past of this nationally acclaimed neighborhood.”
The structure was re-purposed in 2012 from a grand movie theater into an 80-guestroom boutique hotel by the McFadden Group. It is located in the heart of downtown West Chester which has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of its “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” for its outstanding historic preservation practices, strong heritage, and exceptional small town experience.
Hotel Warner was formerly the opulent Warner Theater, a 1,650 seat movie theater that opened its Art Deco doors on November 14, 1930. It cost $600,000 to build, including a $35,000 organ, and a $20,000 state of art “Vitaphone” sound machine. The first movie shown in the theater was “The Life of the Party” starring Davey Lee.
The theater functioned until the early 1980’s, but was eventually closed until being re-purposed as a hotel in 2011, with the original theater lobby and its ornate period staircase serving as the hotel lobby and a sensitively designed new-construction tower housing 80 guestrooms located behind the theater.
Historic Hotels of America further describe Hotel Warner as “conveniently located near delectable restaurants, lively bars and lounges, and eclectic shopping.” Features include a bar and lounge, complimentary Continental breakfast buffet, a heated indoor pool, fitness center, and WiFi. True to its cinematic heritage, a self-service popcorn machine in the hotel lobby has proven to be a favorite among guests.
While the owners of the hotel have maintained the historic integrity of the facade, they have also been committed to environmental initiatives. Hotel Warner has achieved a green building designation by incorporating the use of geothermal heating and cooling, and solar panels. The hotel proudly participates in the Clean the World Program by collecting and recycling discarded soap and shampoo products, which are then redistributed to those in need.
Learn more at Historic Hotels of America/Hotel Warner.
Hotel Warner is a TripAdvisor Platinum level GreenLeader.