Developer Eric Blumenfeld recently took Hadas Kuznits of KYW Newsradio on a tour through the Divine Lorraine. While they are currently looking at plans to convert it into a grand hotel, he also dished on some new details for the former hotel in an 11-part video interview, mainly that they will look to incorporate two restaurants and a large reception/lobby area on the ground floor that could also contain some sort of salon. Along the way, Blumenfeld notes that each floor plate is just under 12,000 square feet of space. Throughout the video tours, it's evident that the behemoth on Broad Street was gutted by its former owners, with each floor now containing expansive, open floor plans. The bones, however, are still beautiful and it's easy to see how this property could very well become the centerpiece of a newly revitalized North Broad Street. Blumenfeld and Kuznitz even go all UrbEx on you in Video 10 as they explore the roof and its iconic sign. Sadly, Blumenfeld notes that there will be no roof access once renovations are complete.
Blumenfeld was particularly moved by the alabaster staircases, at one time noting how they feel like that should be in a museum. However, one of the most interesting pieces pertained to two large skylights — one on the roof and another on the roof of lobby — which can be seen from the interior shaft courtyard. Blumenfeld mentioned they are currently just covered and that they will look to restore them to their former glory. The one in the courtyard is of particular note as you will be able to look down into from interior balconies and up through the building from the grand lobby area. Apparently, the hotel housed a speakeasy at one point. It was located in the basement of the property and will eventually connect to one of the restaurant spaces. Video 4 is also fun as it give you a look into Mother Divine's apartment. It hangs over the interior courtyard and connects the 10th floor to make a complete circuit. It can been seen from Broad Street and a better view is available in Video 8. Look for construction efforts to kick off in about two month and, with it, a whole lot more stories about this development.
· Philadelphia Hotel About To Undergo Serious Renovations [cbsphilly.com]
· Divine Lorraine Hotel Has a Rendering, We Want Your Opinion [Curbed Philly]
· Divine Lorraine Coverage [Curbed Philly]