You never know what you'll find when you renovate a historic hotel.
Last month, during a $1.5 million renovation of the Middlebury Inn in Middlebury, Vt., workers uncovered one of the original entrances to the hotel, built in 1827.
"When they were dismantling the wall, lo and behold, we started to see a finished brick opening," says Jeff Costello, general manager, who watched the June 19 discovery. "It was really intriguing. When we saw that, we changed the whole scope of the project."
Inn owner Courthouse Square LLC, which bought the property in December, immediately scrapped plans to widen the door as the inn's new main entrance. This week, the original 10-foot-tall brick arch, which matches another nearby arch, is open for business.
Work began in May on the renovation, which includes a new courtyard patio. The 180-year-old inn hasn't closed despite the project, which is scheduled to be completed in December. "I don't think the inn has closed once since the day it opened," Costello says.
The Middlebury Inn is a Historic Hotel of America.