Beyond the Build


“This Place Matters.” Your Business Travels Can Preserve Architectural History

When my work requires travel, I reward myself by staying somewhere listed in the Historic Hotels of America directory, which is closely affiliated with The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The HHA is an association of hotels and inns scattered across the United States, usually in urban areas, which were usually built in the beginning of the last century and typically have been restored. These places are often reminders of historical events, and in some cases the trail has not been a pretty one.

I recently traveled to New England with a friend. On Saturday afternoon I found myself at Nor’East, a firm in the business of recycling historic architectural pieces for reuse. They’re located in New Hampshire, just across the Massachusetts border. As I was leaving, I asked the owner where we might stay for the evening since I couldn’t head to my ultimate destination of Hyannis Port until the next morning. He said, “Saturday evening on the coast of Massachusetts during the ‘in’ season…that’s a hard one.” In the end he gave me several suggestions, and we decided on the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA. This interesting hotel is located in the downtown area, was constructed in 1925 and has been beautifully restored.

The next morning I found a placard in the lobby that said “THIS PLACE MATTERS” I got to thinking and realized it’s up to us to make sure our favorite landmarks gets their due. Please consider supporting one of these charming places and the rich history they contain the next time you travel.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.