Drury Hotels Checks into Cleveland

The city’s historic Board of Education building has got a new lease on life as a 189-key hotel.
The Drury Plaza Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio

The Drury Plaza Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio

ClevelandDrury Hotels Co. has opened a new property in Cleveland, just in time for this summer’s Republican National Convention. The 189-key hotel is an adaptive reuse of the city’s Board of Education building erected in 1931.

Located on E. 6th Street, the hotel has more than 3,000 square feet of meeting and event space, at least one of them in the building’s original board meeting room. The company has done several renovations in historic buildings in the United States, including St. Louis, New Orleans, San Antonio, Texas and Wichita, Kan. Two years ago, the company announced plans to turn the former Federal Reserve building, which also dates back to the early 1930s, on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh into a hotel. The Drury Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown is expected to open at the end of this year.

“We are thrilled to be able to breathe life into such a beautiful, historic property in the center of downtown Cleveland,” Chuck Drury, president & CEO of Drury Hotels, said in a prepared statement. “My family started this company more than 40 years ago with the singular goal to provide guests with clean rooms, friendly service and honest value. We look forward to delivering these principles to our guests and all the visitors who will soon be descending upon this great city for the upcoming convention.”

The company said it took special care to maintain as many historic details of the Cleveland Board of Education building as possible, including preserving three 12-foot arched windows in the lobby along with an intricate marble floor, 18-foot marble columns, an early 20th century bronze chandelier and two fully restored Depression-era murals pained by Cora Holden. In the main board meeting room, more historic wall murals were restored as well as intricate stenciling and molding. The original auditorium seating, oak bookshelves and hand-painted linen wallpaper were also preserved. Original floor plans were kept as much as possible resulting in 49 different guest room layouts.

The hotel has outdoor patios and green space, unusual in a downtown location. The owners added modern touches like a state-of-the-art fitness center, a business center and Wi-Fi along with an indoor pool and whirlpool.

Drury, a Missouri-based family owned and operated company with more than 130 hotels in 21 states, isn’t the only chain to open a new hotel before the Republicans descend on Cleveland in July. Earlier this month, Hilton Worldwide brought its flagship brand to the city. The 32-story Hilton Cleveland Downtown has 600 rooms and is connected to the new Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and has 50,000 square feet of meeting space. Owned by Cuyahoga County, it is located on the former site of the Cuyahoga County Administration Building.