Tallahassee’s Governors Inn Undergoing Major Renovation
Multi-million dollar overhaul to include upgrades to all guest rooms and suites and public spaces
Exciting improvements are in the works for the Governors Inn, located in the city’s historic downtown. The prestigious hotel, two blocks from the Florida Capitol, hit the pause button this past May, closing for an estimated 11-month, multimillion-dollar renovation.
The Governors Inn, at 209 S. Adams Street, suspended business the week of May 10 to begin the renovation. The inn has operated as a distinctive, 41-room boutique hotel since opening in April 1984. A spokesman for the inn said the plan is to complete the renovation by next summer, with a reopening in August 2022.
The property’s comprehensive overhaul will include upgrades to all guest rooms and suites, as well as the lobby and public spaces. A new lounge and patio are being added to the front of the building situated on the Adams Street Commons.
A spokesman for the inn said modernizations will include high-tech amenities added to all guest rooms and public spaces, as well as upgrades to hotel furnishings to add contemporary style. Of chief importance, the property will retain the historic charm that has made the accommodations a favorite for capital city guests for the past 37 years.
The hotel property is owned by the Mateer family of Florida, with William Mateer, Principal Executive. “Our family is excited to bring new life back into a building with such rich history in Tallahassee’s downtown area,” Mateer said. “A goal of this renovation is to help revitalize downtown, creating a diverse, inclusive atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone. We look forward to seeing you soon.”
As part of the renovation process, a considerable portion of the inn’s existing furnishings were donated to four local organizations: Tallahassee’s Homeless Coalition, ECHO Outreach Ministries, Boys Town North Florida, and Tallahassee Community College’s Emergency Medical Services Technology program. Donated items included food, appliances, furniture, linens and paper goods.
The design and construction of the renovation is being handled by three Florida firms: Hungerford Design Inc. (HDI) of Orlando (HungerfordDesign.com); Architects Lewis+Whitlock (ALW) of Tallahassee (think3d.net); and Childers Construction of Tallahassee (childers-construction.com).
Andrew Hungerford, Chief Executive at HDI and a 1988 Florida State University graduate of interior design, said he is excited to play an integral role in this project. “We at HDI are pleased to be included in the historic Governors Inn renovation and transformation,” Hungerford said. “The transformation of this property will surpass all owner expectations, as well as the City of Tallahassee’s.
“With multiple FSU graduates on our team, we take special pride in this project that we hope will produce years of enjoyment for patrons, alumni and new guests alike,” Hungerford said.
The site of the Governors Inn was originally a livery stable, with the original structure dating to the 1800s. The interior features the original exposed stable beams. The inn’s rooms and suites are named for governors of Florida’s past, with each room uniquely decorated with antique furniture, including armoires.
As a young man, John Calhoun worked various jobs at the Governors Inn for about six years, from 1984 to 1993. Calhoun, who now serves as the Ombudsman for a state agency, fondly recalls the historic character of the property and how its location “just a few blocks from the Capitol made it the center of everything when it came to lobbying and government.”
Calhoun said he remembers the hotel lobby being full of senators, representatives, lobbyists and local dignitaries during evening cocktail hours. He recalls celebrities staying at the inn, including musician Michael Stipe and other members of the band REM, actors Faye Dunaway and Gary Burghoff, author Kurt Vonnegut and sports stars Vin Scully and Duke Snider. Calhoun said basketball player Eric Montrose was “so tall he had to duck under all the old beams in the upper hallway.”
The proximity of the inn to the Capitol puts the property at the heart of legislative activities. Its location provides optimal access to governmental and business meetings, and it is steps from numerous restaurants. It is a short walk to the Florida State campus and a short drive to Florida A&M University, making the inn a favorite spot for university guests, alumni, parents and fans attending Seminoles and Rattlers sporting events.
For more information on the Governors Inn renovation, contact Mark Moravec at Mark@TMFB.com or (407) 766-8086.