A Century-Old Oregon Apartment Building Is Renovated Into an Artistic Hotel

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After spending nearly two decades in Portland, Oregon, Greg Hennes yearned to relocate to a small town with a slower pace. While scouring the Northwest for land to build his dream cabin, he stumbled upon a 105-year-old brick apartment building for sale in Joseph, a close-knit locale set five hours from the city. So, he started a Kickstarter campaign focused on renovating this property around original artistry, and the Jennings Hotel became the first of its kind to have met its goal. "I wanted to create a place where people could get away from the daily grind and have a quiet place to work," Hennes said. He opened the first of 13 rooms two years ago, which features crisp white walls, rustic furnishings, and earth-toned art, and has invited designers to outfit each of the other guest spaces with a budget from Rejuvenation. Plus, artists are also invited to stay anywhere from overnight to a month thanks to an ongoing residency program — as long as they leave a new work behind. It's a warm outpost for anyone to get creative, and a safe haven that reflects Hennes's peaceful state of mind.

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library and kitchen
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Kitchen and Library

The kitchen and library's bright, open layout cultivates conversation between guests. Shelves of books, a communal dining area, and a shared space to prepare meals or uncork a bottle of wine are all part of the design.

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one of the hotel's rooms
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Guest Room

White walls and distressed hardwood floors are paired with furnishings with exposed bones, such as quarter-sawn oak. Designers Matt Pierce and Ben Klebba used minimal decor in the space, like a lone piece of art and a single light fixture.

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one of the hotel's rooms
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Sitting Area

White-washed brick walls evoke a vintage sensibility in this space, which was also designed by Pierce and Klebba. An old trunk is transformed into a coffee table and a side table is born out of a log.


Based in Wisconsin, Kristine Hansen covers art, architecture, travel and food/drink, and lives in a 1920s bungalow.

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