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A New Look at Hotel Syracuse as Renovations Continue

John Smith/WAER News

  A handful of Onondaga County lawmakers got a sneak peak  of the ongoing renovation of the  Hotel Syracuse Thursday, which will be retired and become the Marriott Downtown Syracuse when it opens this summer.  Hotel owner Ed Riley says it hasn't been easy.

"We built a new building inside a 90-year old shell, which is a little bit of a challenge with all the contractors to say the least."

Riley explains how the murals on the wall are now coming to life once again. 

" We got a full set of drawings that this building was built on. We knew exactly what the original details were, where they were going and what we could do with them. It didn't help with colors or texture. That is something that we had to go through and peel off the layers of paint and go down through it."

When you check into the hotel it will have a brand new look, just like the original.

"It's much like teller cages at a bank because that is what they used to do here. There were no credit cards so people had to pay in cash," Riley said.

Perhaps the focal point of any event, especially when it comes to weddings in Central New York, is the grand ballroom.

"The ceiling in here is going to be painted in a faux-sky ceiling," said Riley. "The columns will all be done in foe-stone throughout.  All of the light fixtures in this room were original. All the chandeliers were taken down and restored there in those big wooden crates right there."

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Ed Riley sits in the Persian Terrace ballroom.

  The rooms decorative casting are all now also coming back to life as well.  County legislator Kathy Rapp seems very impressed with what she has seen.

"It's just an amazing rebirth. You couldn't recreate something like this today,  pulling it out of the ashes."

The former Hotel Syracuse which will become the "Marriott Downtown Syracuse" is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2016. 

Credit John Smith/WAER News
The murals above the check-in desk were restored to their original appearance