La Fonda For The Next 100 Years: Hotel Announces Revitalization Project

Editor | - August 3, 2012

"he current inn owes its iconic status to hospitality pioneer Fred Harvey, and to the creative insights of Mary Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem"

La Fonda on the Plaza announced a revitalization program designed to update guest rooms in order to meet the demands of today’s travelers while meticulously maintaining authentic style and charm.

With a history reaching back more than 90 years, there’s no mistaking La Fonda’s authenticity. The current inn owes its iconic status to hospitality pioneer Fred Harvey, and to the creative insights of Mary Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem, pioneers of the Pueblo Revival style. The revitalization plan will maintain the integrity of their vision and style, and secure La Fonda on the Plaza as the destination for authentic Santa Fe hospitality. Updating key systems including heating and air conditioning, insulation, communication, electrical and plumbing, will maintain the hotel’s distinguished status.

“La Fonda on the Plaza is a destination that improves over time,” said Jennifer Lea Kimball, the hotel’s chairman of the board. “400 years ago, what was once a small fonda at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail, has transformed into Santa Fe’s iconic destination – a welcoming spot for

visitors and locals alike, to meet, celebrate, and reminisce. What we won’t be changing during this revitalization project is what everyone loves about La Fonda—its authenticity, its unique charm, and the decades of history built into its walls. Through this renovation project, La Fonda will secure its place as a world-class hotel, as well as a cultural treasure.”

The revitalization will be conducted with the utmost sensitivity to the important role that La Fonda plays in the community. The project took shape by looking inward. Comprehensive studies were conducted that included architectural archeology to uncover and examine the original building. This analysis provided an important historical perspective on the original construction techniques from the inside out, which will guide the revitalization without compromising the authentic character of the building.

In addition to upgrading the systems that visitors don’t see, La Fonda’s updated guestrooms will include new lighting, floor coverings, and furnishings true to the style created by Colter. Local architect and designer, Barbara Felix, has been commissioned to ensure the integrity of these updates. Two finished prototype rooms prove that no sacrifice in character will be made to adapt modern conveniences. Upon completion, the new guestrooms will provide an exceptional level of comfort while celebrating what it feels like to enjoy an authentic experience in historic Santa Fe.

The revitalization project is slated to begin in January 2013 and be completed in eight months. All work will be coordinated to minimize any impact on hotel guests or services. No staff cuts or furloughs are planned as a result of this project.

From a La Fonda on the Plaza media release.

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