Woodlark Hotel

9. Februar 2019

Designed to reflect the nuance, soul and beauty of Portland, Woodlark redefines hospitality in the Pacific Northwest. The new hotel project combines the nationally registered Woodlark Building and the adjacent Cornelius Hotel into a single design destination

R&A historically restored the structures’ exteriors with respect to each building’s individual historic character

Located in the heart of downtown, the two buildings have stood for more than 100 years as a testament to Portland’s growing aspirations and unique culture. As a nod to the city’s past, Woodlark brings the adjoining structures together to create a new hospitality standard for Portland.

Giving new life to one of Portland’s earliest commercial skyscrapers, Architect firm R&A honored the site’s historic structures through a contemporary lens. Embracing the original motto of the Cornelius as a ‘House of Welcome,’ Woodlark has been designed as a place for visitors and locals to connect with the city’s offerings in the “New Northwest.”

R&A historically restored the structures’ exteriors with respect to each building’s individual historic character.

The Woodlark Building, built in 1912 and home to Woodard, Clark & Co., Portland’s first pharmacy, was one of the City’s earliest examples of the reinforced concrete construction type, while the adjacent former Cornelius Hotel, built in 1908, only four years prior, was built with wood and steel. The two adjacent buildings are internally connected via new stairs on each floor. The new and existing structure allowed R&A to create a number of unique room types to choose from. On the third floor, twenty foot ceiling heights allowed for two-story loft suites complete with steel and wood spiral staircases that lead to the elevated sleeping lofts with breathtaking views of the surrounding streetscape.

Since both buildings are listed on National Register of Historic Places and g​iven incredible historic value, R&A followed strict federal, state and local historical guidelines in restoring the structures. The original wood frame windows were removed, restored, and reinstalled with new insulated glazing units, the exterior brick was cleaned and repointed, and the damaged metal mansard roofs and intricate ornamental metal detailing had to be substantially reconstructed.

The interiors, adaptively reused into a 150-key boutique hotel, represent the “New Northwest” as expressed through subtle, soft, and elegant detailing. Using an eclectic mix of luxe textiles, raw wood, blue leather, plant life, black lacquer and brass, the guest room’s materials and treatments mimic Portland’s surroundings in an elevated way. Custom pieces give the hotel room a residential feel – from the marble-topped amenity table, to the bathroom sconces, ceiling fixture and teal tiles, to the luxe gold finishes throughout the space. Float dipped walls with blue base boards, two toned blue velvet chairs, and custom Christiane Millinger handmade wool rugs create a layered yet simplistic richness. Lively and bright, the hotel’s interiors take cues from nature exemplified by the custom designed wallpaper by OMFG Co., inspired by plants native to the Pacific Northwest. Reinterpreting its surroundings in a fresh way, the design creates spaces that are dramatic and surprising.

The lifestyle hotel combines accommodation with 2,500 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant, and a lounge bar designed in collaboration with Smith Hanes. Opening up to the neighborhood on the ground floor, the restaurant and lounge marry the spirit of Portland with a unique culinary heritage. On top, a new elevator penthouse and stair tower rise above the roof of the Cornelius.

Portland is growing and evolving, and Woodlark embodies what the city can become. Reviving two iconic structures, the design balances an urban and natural aesthetic in the core of downtown. Encouraging connection and shared experience, the hotel invites exchange between visitors and the city. Setting a new standard for the Northwest, Woodlark reimagines contemporary elegance and hospitality.

Smith Hanes – Lobby and F&B Design Descriptions


Flooded with natural light, from both floor to ceiling windows and skylights in the elevator landing, the first-floor invites travelers and locals in with black-and-white penny tiles that gradually give way to warm grey wood floors, lush plants and richly appointed details including brass inlay, custom brass and hand-blown glass light fixtures. Painted wood panels made from recessed molding offer a nod to the original walls of the historic building.

The expansive windows that encircle the front of the hotel, from lobby to restaurant, create a seamless connection with the vibrancy of downtown Portland. Guests are greeted by a marble check-in desk, which wraps around to transition into a coffee counter offering guests a quintessential Portland experience. Hand-picked chairs, a communal table and 10-foot-long leather indigo blue sofas transform the open space into an open lounge, to encourage comfort and conversation while enjoying coffee and kolaches.

Good Coffee

Woodlark will feature a coffee bar in the lobby in collaboration with Good Coffee, a local co-conspirator. Since launching Good Coffee in 2014, sibling partners, Sam and Nick Purvis, have established themselves as arbiters of exceptional coffee and interior design, all underscored by a strong ethos of hospitality and the desire to create delight. This will be the first downtown location, and fourth in Portland overall. Good Coffee will offer signature seasonal drinks and its selection of roasted coffees available to be prepared both as espresso and filter. Chef Adams and the Bullard kitchen will oversee a to-go breakfast menu that will introduce Portland diners and visitors alike to Adams’ interpretation of Texas-style Kolaches, as well as an assortment of house-made pastries.


Woodlark will be home to Bullard, helmed by Chef Doug Adams. Rooted in Texas and refined in Oregon, the restaurant will incorporate influences from Adam’s culinary journey from Texas to Montana to Portland where he earned national recognition as a finalist on BRAVO’s Top Chef: Boston. In developing Bullard, Adams partnered with Jennifer Quist, restaurateur and hospitality consultant, who has worked on high profile projects such as Multnomah Whiskey Library.

Smith Hanes Studio created a masculine design aesthetic, with the appropriate balance of comfort and ruggedness. The design conjures memories of Chef Adams’ culinary life and journey, beginning with his early years in the East Texas town of Bullard to the present in Oregon with time spent fishing in the wild with his dogs, in the bold, rough mountains. Rich and dark colors, original penny tile floors from 1908, blue-jean walls and rough-linen curtains are blended together with memorabilia and collections depicting the life of a sportsman including fishing rods and reels, fallow deer antlers and original art that was made specifically for Bullard. Bullard occupies the first-floor corner of Woodlark, at the intersection of SW Alder and SW 9th Street. With clear views provided by floor-to-ceiling glass and steel walls, the excitement and warmth of the interior is made palpable to passersby on both streets.

Abigail Hall

In addition to Bullard, Adams and Quist will debut Abigail Hall, an intimate, 40-seat living room-style bar that will be in the original library and Ladies Reception Hall of the Cornelius Hotel. Design features include a fireplace, a large custom-made central chandelier, green wainscot walls with hand painted floral motif, a reproduction of the penny-tile floors from 1911 and a mix of lush materials and colors including pink and deep maroon leather banquettes and fabrics. Abigail Hall will serve an approachable menu that offers something for every mood and preference, from light beer and rosé by the glass to a selection of spritzes, hand crafted cocktails, and Martinis & Manhattans for the table that serve two, four and six people.

Abigail Hall is named after Abigail Scott Duniway, Oregon’s „Mother of Equal Suffrage.“ A lecturer, organizer, writer, and editor, Duniway is revered for her achievements for women’s rights and the place she held in the forging of the Northwest.

© 2019 Robert’s