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In 1909, the building that would one day become the Hotel Lucia was commissioned and constructed in downtown Portland by Phil Metschan, an enterprising German immigrant and entrepreneur. It was to be an expansion of his popular Imperial Hotel, located on the adjacent lot just South on Broadway. The new wing of the Imperial Hotel, from its very beginning, played an important role in Portland’s culture and history as a gathering spot for cattle ranchers visiting from Eastern Oregon.
By the end of 1949, the Imperial Hotel was divided into two independent hotels with the newer building taking the quite literal name New Imperial Hotel. In 1950, Portland hotelier Albert Gentner took over the New Imperial Hotel and the Mallory Hotel, the future site of Hotel Lucia’s sister property, Hotel deLuxe. Under Gentner’s management the New Imperial Hotel welcomed guests to downtown Portland for the next fifty years.
Provenance Hotels purchased the New Imperial Hotel in 2001, renovated it from top to bottom and curated within it the world’s largest collection of black and white photography by Pulitzer Prize winner and native Oregonian David Hume Kennerly. Provenance renamed the building Hotel Lucia. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and remains one of Portland’s chicest hotels.