The building Hotel Lucia sits in today was constructed in 1909 by Phil Metschan (an enterprising German immigrant and entrepreneur) as an expansion of his popular Imperial Hotel. From its very beginning, the new wing of the Imperial Hotel played an important role in Portland’s culture and history, serving 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 50 years.
Provenance Hotels purchased the New Imperial Hotel in 2001, renovated it from top to bottom and added the world’s largest collection of black-and-white photography by Pulitzer Prize winner and native Oregonian David Hume Kennerly. Provenance Hotels renamed the building Hotel Lucia. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.