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The Morrison Clark Inn is Expanding
Expansion of the Inn is underway with an expected completion date the end of September 2014. We are expecting minimal interference with the Inn during this exciting time. The new 43,000 square foot addition will rise above the former Chinese Community Church next door to the Inn.
During the expansion, the Morrison Clark Restaurant will be closed.
For the duration of the project, the hotel will be offering a complimentary light Continental breakfast Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and on Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am to 10:00 am.
In the evenings from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, a complimentary glass of wine is available upon request at Guest Services.
ForrestPerkins is part of the design team that is renovating the Morrison-Clark Inn, serving as the project’s Interior Designer and its Architect for the Interior for RB Properties Inc. While this project is officially an addition to the existing hotel, the resulting hotel complex will be comprised of seven structures, organized about a central courtyard. The subtle interior design theme ForrestPerkins is weaving throughout the project is that of a world traveler from the Victorian era who favored journeys to the Orient. Upon his return home, he then layered those experiences over the style of his home’s environment. In addition to ForrestPerkins, the project team assisting RBP includes Architecture, Inc., the Architect of Record for the core and shell, and Forrester Construction, the project’s General Contractor.
The Morrison-Clark Inn, at the corner of 11th and L streets, NW in Washington, DC, includes two Italianate brownstones, both built in 1864 and originally owned by David Morrison and Reuben Clark respectively, which anchor the site’s southwest corner street front. These two mansions were combined into a hotel in 1987, after The Women’s Army and Navy League used the Clark home for 57 years as a place for America’s enlisted men and – as of 1972 – women to stay while in Washington, DC. The property was known as the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, and Airmen’s Club after 1954. The townhomes currently house the reception lobby and dining rooms of main floor public spaces, with the kitchen in the basement and ornate guest rooms on their upper floors. Working counter-clockwise around the hotel’s complex, a new brick paved alley will be created between the brownstones and their adjacent eastern neighbor, a Chinese Church. This gated alley will provide an enticing vista from the L Street sidewalk into the central courtyard of the hotel’s inner complex.
The sculpted façade of the Chinese Church will be retained and will serve as the new main entrance for the hotel, with the new reception desk, two-story lobby and bar receiving guests through the arched opening of the former church. The ForrestPerkins design will echo the explorer’s travels to Asia with art and artifacts collected along the way. At the entrance to the new lobby, for instance, guests will be flanked by a low relief custom installation of Chinese calligraphy brushes. Behind the registration desk with its backlit onyx countertop, they will discover custom Raku kimono robes created by a local artist and a custom-designed, dragon-inspired rug in front. Guests will relax in Chinese and Victorian furniture with bold upholstery and accent fabrics. The lighting design will wash the whole space in the soft glow of custom chandeliers inspired by a governor’s summer hat and two-story sconces inspired by Chinese lantern blossoms.
The stately brick façade of the existing L Street parsonage adjacent to the church will also be maintained and folded into the fabric of the hotel complex. The southern portion of the parsonage will be restored with a sitting room off of the main lobby at the first floor that will provide a quiet retreat for guests with intimate seating around the restored fireplace and brick walls. A hand-blown chandelier elegantly crowns the seating area. Guest rooms with wood floors and original fireplaces will grace its upper two floors.
The custom designed guest room corridor carpet layers damask and lace Victorian motifs with modern colors and oversized patterns. Victorian-scroll-inspired custom sconces adorn the corridors. The entry doors into guest rooms will be painted a glossy bright yellow and the palette within the guest rooms will be taupe and cream with hints of emerald green. The carpet design, with its oversized chrysanthemum flowers, and the furnishings, an eclectic mix of Chinese and Victorian designs, will beckon guests to enter. Guest bathrooms will include a custom vanity, and a lighted mirror with a frosted scroll design around the edges.
The new six -story, 43,000-square-foot addition will rise above the old Chinese Church and parsonage, respectfully set back from their L Street facades. The addition will feature 57 new guest rooms, the lobby, and improved parking and Back-of-House services in its basement. The western façades of the addition will provide the unifying complement to the campus of buildings to define the organizational principles of the central courtyard, which will be almost doubled in size.
The northern portion of the addition marries up with a previous 1980s addition to the hotel, while it respectfully steps over the oldest structure on the campus, the two-story Carriage House. Its existing painted brick facades will be restored, and its interior converted into a single guest suite. The 1980s addition sits at the northwestern corner of the site and serves as the connection between the addition and the existing brownstones at the corner. Combining the addition with the existing buildings, the overall hotel will provide a total of 114 guest rooms.
The Morrison-Clark Inn, like a home, will respond to the needs and interests of its guests: growing, modernizing, and increasing in comfort, all the while remaining true to its character, which is already steeped in the romance of the Victorian era. Over time, the personality of the original portions of the hotel will mingle with the new, speaking to each other of the experiences and cultures gathered along the way.