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Hotel Northland: A return to glory

The hotel’s original elevator doors, with the original letter box which runs from the eighth floor to the lobby. Kris Leonhardt photos



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GREEN BAY – Work on the $44 million renovation of the historic hotel lasted through 2016 and into 2017.

But, as the redevelopment progressed, so did costs.

Legal battles and funding issues soon brought work to a halt completely in June.

The hotel entered receivership in late 2017.

The receiver, Paul Swanson, appointed a new contractor and work resumed.

In February 2018, Swanson announced that the Northland would join a Marriott International chain of boutique hotels called the “Autograph Collection.”

The hotel “Brand Mark” is this bronze Vince Lombardi hat at the lobby entrance.

The Autograph Collection chain works with properties of historic value and with unique character and experiences.

“Financial problems that devolved into infighting among the developers plagued the project from late 2016 and into 2017, when the hotel ended up in receivership. Greenwood Hospitality Group would buy the partially completed project in spring 2018 and rush to open part of it by December, in order to salvage the historic tax credits that helped fund the building,” a Press-Gazette article stated.

About $50 million later, the hotel opened in early 2019.

After what could be considered a labor of love for the city, developers and contractors, the hotel reopened on Valentine’s Day.

Through the renovation, the hotel went from 350 guest rooms to 160, while contractors worked to retain some of its historic aura.

Today, as you walk beneath the lighted neon sign and in the front, you are whisked away to the 1920s as you are greeted by a hotel clerk poised to assist you in front of rows of old-time key slots.

 The hotel’s significance is not lost to visitors as they climb the front entry stairs and see a bronze replica of Vince Lombardi’s hat.

This spring, the hotel hosted a “birthday party” to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Northland’s glorious welcome to the city.

Organizers will also host a 1920s-themed gala this September, with special 1920 menu items in the historic Walnut Room all year.

For more information, visit www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/grbak-hotel-northland-autograph-collection/overview.

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