Built in 1902 and standing 18 stories tall, the Arrott Building on Wood Street Downtown was, in its heyday, a testament to the extravagance of its time and its owner – the Bathtub King of Pittsburgh, James Arrott.
Topped with howling masks along its cornices, the striped brick and terracotta skyscraper acted as the headquarters of Arrott’s American Standard company – which produced enameled iron tubs – as well as its separate insurance business.
Since the 1970s, following an unsuccessful attempt to convert it into 100 apartments for the elderly, the office building has remained almost empty, with the exception of a Subway restaurant on the ground floor.
However, the large building bones, which were added to the Pittsburgh Historical and Monuments Foundation List of historical monuments in 2000, has remained intact – and formed the basis of a new boutique hotel.
Part of HRI Properties and the Marriott International Autograph Collection, The Industrial Hotel, named in honor of Arrott – along with the other early entrepreneurs who shaped Pittsburgh – is slated to open in early May.
General manager Robert Brashlers said the 124-room hotel, which includes 28 luxury suites, was inspired by Pittsburgh’s history as the steel capital. As such, the high-end Beaux-Arts-inspired design of New York-based Stonehill Taylor features a blend of cool grays and vivid oranges reminiscent of the smoke and molten metal of a foundry.
As for the large original hall of the Arrott building, filled with Italian marble, designed by the famous architect Frédéric Osterling? He is always there.
“All the marble, all the brass, all the intricate plaster work has been preserved and restored,” Brashlers says. “It’s very ornamental. When you enter the lobby, it is decorated. It definitely showcases the success of American Standard. ”
In addition to the required fitness center, conference room and lobby bar, the hotel also includes The Rebel Room, a modern American-style restaurant run by chef Gavin Hetrick, who recently oversaw the taproom of Pittsburgh of the Southern Tier Brewing Company and spent time as an executive sous chef. at Downtown’s Revel.
“It has an upscale neighborhood restaurant feel,” Brashlers says of The Rebel Room. “It’s a very nice space to be.”
In a unique twist, the Industrialist’s second-floor lobby and lounge will host a bar-workshop-meet-DIY offering a daily “maker menu” in partnership with local Pittsburgh businesses.
Already on the rotating schedule are events featuring leather-making – where guests can create a keychain, card holder, or luggage tags – candle-making and custom stationery creation. A “production hour” is scheduled every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“The maker space has a large communal table and low seating where people can spread out and craft their crafts,” says Brashlers. “Once the environment allows for more social activity, we will integrate food and drink at manufacturer time.”
Construction on the hotel began in 2020. The industrial was originally scheduled to open last October, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brashlers says.
“We are now in the last attempt to get everything ready,” he said.