Here's Our Story:
I got into interior design by accident. I was supposed to be an academic, a professor of history, but somewhere along the way I got sidetracked and before I knew it, I had a thriving design business in our nation's capitol. I met my beautiful wife, bought a house, had a daughter, and then decided to take another detour--save a historic building by renovating it into a boutique hotel--that just so happens to be on the other side of the country.
Welcome to the Harkness Hotel. Or at least what will be the hotel. One day. In the very near future. That's it pictured above, in 1909.
Here's Our Idea:
Many people, ourselves included, thought we had a touch of the crazies to take something like this on. Take a dilapidated 108 year old building in a sleepy Idaho town and turn it into a small high-end boutique hotel with 8 uniquely designed rooms. What could go wrong right?
The building has required extensive renovations and upgrades. Okay, we sort of expected that. Working in DC gave me plenty of experience with old buildings. Extensive upgrades also equal expensive upgrades. As our resources have slowly (or not so slowly) been depleted, we've had to make changes and cuts. Also something we expected. However, one cut in particular has hurt: the elevator.
Our building is two story, with only a massive staircase granting access to the top floor. Which just so happens to be where almost all the rooms are going. We have plans to put in one ground floor handicap accessible room, but had wanted to make the all the other rooms accessible as well. Our project has generated a lot of local excitement and buzz. People want to see what we're doing! I've been asked numerous times if we'll be putting in an elevator, to which I've had to say "sorry". That response usually elicits disappointment, but one person in particular, a young woman confined to a wheelchair, caused me to want to find a way to make it happen.
Here's Why We Need Your Help:This is the part where you come in! We're going to be adding a second entrance to the rear of the building (turns out modern codes frown upon only one escape), contained within a small addition. An elevator would go perfectly in that addition, we just can't afford it on our own. This is the part where you come in (did I say that yet?)! With your help, we can give everyone the opportunity to enjoy this exciting new hotel.
So far we've been able to cover the renovation costs with our own resources (and then some), but even with good credit, eventually you get told "no". We're maxed out and it turn out elevators aren't cheap pieces of equipment. We need $25,000 to install one. That's a lot of money, but every little bit from you will help us reach that goal!
In the event we don't reach our goal, all money will go towards designing and constructing a shaft (the first step anyway) for an elevator within the addition. One way or another, we'll get that elevator in.
Even if you can't contribute, please share our story! We know you have friends, probably more than we do. You can track our progress on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/theharknesshotel), along with finding before/after photos! And who out there doesn't like before and after photos? At the very least you might find some good Pinterest fodder! Thank you (particularly for reading this far)!!
The Harkness Hotel Team: Aaron+Arianne Hunsaker