Modern Makeover

Houston's historic family-owned hotel moves into the 21st century with $10 million revamp

Historic hotel moves into 21st century with major revamp

Lancaster Hotel at night
The Lancaster Hotel in downtown Houston is slated to begin a $10 million renovation this month, which will be completed by mid-summer.  Photo courtesy of © Mark Johnson Photography Inc.

The Lancaster Hotel, a historic 93-room boutique hotel in downtown Houston's Theater District, is set to undergo a $10 million renovation. It is slated to begin this month and be completed by mid-summer of this year. 

Reviewers in recent years have called the hotel "quaint," referring to worn furnishings and fixtures, so it's clear that the facelift comes at a good time. A statement released on Wednesday details that the renovation will include "the hotel's lobby and meeting spaces, all guest rooms and suites, and will incorporate significant technology and core mechanical upgrades."

Future guests should expect a natural light-filled lobby that opens to the downtown streetscape and flows into the reception area, the meeting spaces and The Bistro, The Lancaster's on-site restaurant, plus redesigned interiors that "will echo classic American styling with a bow to the hotel's Theater District location," incorporating men's suiting fabrics and top-of-the-line plumbing fixtures from WaterWorks.  

 The renovation will include "the hotel's lobby and meeting spaces, all guest rooms and suites, and will incorporate significant technology and core mechanical upgrades." 

Other new features will include new Wi-Fi technology, smart TVs and projectors in the meeting rooms, 42-inch flat screens in guest rooms and VingCarg room locks, which uses intuitive key card technology. 

"This hotel has been in our family for 87 years and is the only historic hotel in Houston owned and operated by descendants of the original developer," said Charles M. Lusk III, president of The Lancaster Houston, whose great-grandfather, Michele DeGeorge, first built The Auditorium Hotel in 1926. The property reopened in 1986 as The Lancaster. 

Gensler will lead as the project's architect, and Charlene Lusk Dwyer of Dwyer Interiors will consult on the project. Renovation work will take place one wing at a time, so the hotel will remain open for guests throughout the process.