News came last week that Hotel Saranac, which has been undergoing an extensive renovation project, will open its doors at the end of December. The anticipated re-opening of the hotel has generated a great deal of excitement around Saranac Lake. Residents and visitors, young and old, are all eager to visit the hotel’s public spaces, share a meal, and browse the shops in the first floor arcade. In all of the increasing excitement, people have been sharing their memories of the hotel with each other, and with us here at Historic Saranac Lake.
I recently had the opportunity to visit with Kay and Marvin Best, longtime Saranac Lake residents who love the village and its rich history. The Bests are keen to see the hotel re-open at the end of the month and Kay shared a special memory with us: as a little girl, she would go to the hotel’s first floor newsstand, run by “Ma” Ryan, to purchase a newspaper for her grandfather. Entering the hotel was a unique experience for little Kay, as she remembers: “Every time you opened the door and stepped in, the sound was distinctive,” referring to the mix of voices, the sound of steps on the terrazzo floors, and countless other distinctive sounds that mingled in the air.
When the opening date at the end of December rolls around, Kay and Marvin will surely be among those once again walking through the front doors of Hotel Saranac, for the first time in a number of years. Of that moment, Kay says, “When I go back in, I want to hear that sound." We’re eager to join her and we don’t think she’ll be disappointed.
Do you have Hotel Saranac memories you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments!
Historic Saranac Lake is developing the Cure Porch on Wheels, an exciting mobile exhibit space that will allow HSL to present mini exhibitions and oral history projects to audiences at locations throughout the area.