Quite a show Hundreds turn out to see Rock Lititz Penthouse
By: PATTI CORNELIUS Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer
They came by the hundreds on a frigid, snow-covered Sunday afternoon with two championship football games on the tube. Those who were curious, and those who played a role in the renovation, were among the attendees during the two-hour General Sutter Rock Lititz Penthouse open house.
Over the past several months, Lititz-based businesses Clair Global, Tait Towers and Atomic Design were busy removing the Victorian charm of the inn and replacing it with the kind of edginess you would expect to find at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"It started out as one room," said Troy Clair, one of the masterminds and key players behind the renovation. "Then we said we may as well do it right."
Soon, the entire third floor became their playground to create the kind of space rock and roll enthusiasts dream of — a spacious and comfortable place clients and guests could call "home" when they visit the area. As you wind your way through the modernization you can’t help but feel the synergy one would expect to find in a posh Manhattan hotel.
Clean lines and stark contrasts added the edginess and cosmopolitan style to the rooms.
Said Mary Lynn Lavender of Lititz: "It’s like a modern museum of art."
It stirs up the creative juices and is a perfect example of the term "collaborative effort."
Lynn Lovett, room designer, was there for the entire event. When asked what it was like to be a part of it, she replied "It was great working with everyone."
When she began working on the renovation, Troy Clair invited her to stop by and look at some of things sitting around that were made by employees. Quickly, Lovett found items the common eye may not recognize as a perfect find. Even the smallest details were thought through.
"The finials on the curtain rods are microphones," she said.
One of the bathroom windows was covered by Pippa Panels that appear on stage, donated by Atomic. Cabinet hardware is made from parts and pieces of stages and was also found in the stockroom. The three microphones that appear in front of the timeline wall are exact replicas of the type of microphone used by Elvis Presley.
Lovett said the talent between the three companies is amazing.
Jim Eckman, a builder for Clair Brothers, who designed and built many of the room props, was among those in attendance. He had created a floor lamp using a microphone. Lovette had seen his idea and requested that he make a few of the lights to be used as part of the decor.
"I designed them and had help with the electrical," he said.
Rob Homan, project manager for Tait Towers, designed and built one of the tables on display.
"We donated some furniture and the wet bar and made a luggage table, a desk and a really large timeline," he said.
The timeline is an enormous graphic that takes up much of the wall, illustrating the history of the three companies.
Doug Gerlitzki of Martin’s Flooring was part of the installation crew.
"You never get to see the finished product," he remarked. "That we could come back and see this is great."
"This is a good thing for Lititz," said Henry Hershey, local physical therapist who attended the event. "The collaborative effort is what interested me. As a Rotary member we ask ‘is it good for all concerned?’
"This is that. Nothing but quality here."
The change from the Victorian style to the modern is striking.
"We spent our honeymoon night here," Mrs. Hershey said. "It didn’t look like this."
"Creative" was the word of the day for those attending. It seemed to be the term that best described what they had just seen.
"Hard to believe it’s in Lititz" was another phrase most used as people finished the tour.
Jocelyn Ulmer, a General Sutter staff member, was in charge of letting the people through in groups of 10. By 4 p.m., more than 300 people had viewed the rooms and 75 more were waiting in the lobby; and more coming through the doors.
"I think it’s great," said Ulmer, referring to the crowd of people waiting to see the new rooms.
Judging from the enthusiasm of the crowd, the top floor of the General Sutter is sure to reach the top of the stay-cation charts. More ROCK LITITZ, page A13