The Stanley Hotel, which is famous for its old world charm, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America. It offers 14,000 square feet of sophisticated meeting and event space equipped with modern amenities with several indoor and outdoor wedding venues.
The story of the Stanley Hotel started in 1903 when Yankee inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley arrived in Estes Valley, weak and underweight from the symptoms of consumption. After only being there for one season, he was well enough to leave and vowed to return each summer for the remainder of his life.
Freelan and his wife – Flora – were used to a more sophisticated East Coast society and felt Estes Park offered little to stimulate & challenge them. Together, they decided to build a beautiful grand hotel. In 1909, the first guests who pulled up in stylish Stanley-designed steam cars were astonished at what they saw. Here in the mountain wilderness, was an edifice that withstood comparison to the posh hotels in the East.
By the 1970’s the hotel’s splendor faded due to lack of care and investment. It might have met it’s end with the wrecking ball, if not for a visit by author Stephen King. After one night of stay, it was enough to inspire his third major work and first bestseller The Shining – not to mention the other popular film Dumb and Dumber, albeit it a little less serious.
The hotel stands today as a beautifully restored testament to its glory days, when it served as a holiday retreat for wealthy urbanites. However, it was in need of some much needed love and care on it’s siding – hence where 5280 Exteriors enters the equation.
TIME FOR AN UPGRADE
In 2017, 5280 Exteriors was one of many local Denver contractors to bid on the restoration project. The owner of the Stanley Hotel had been aggressively looking to update the iconic property to improve its longevity and attraction.
The initial thought was to quote more of a low-maintenance product such as fiber cement siding. As pricing options were put together and presented, it was discovered that fiber cement wouldn’t be viable for this project. The Historic District of Colorado, along with Stanley Management, wanted to have a product that more preserved the integrity of the original build in 1909 by Freelan Stanley. As representatives with the Historic District integrated into the project planning, it was found that the original siding was likely milled from a lodgepole pine.
The new product initiative was to find a product that was beveled, lower maintenance, and preserved the historic integrity. Aside from the product itself, the building needed to be updated with new flashing and building wrap to cut down on air infiltration & drafts coming in around windows and other utilize penetrations.
PRODUCT AND FINISHINGS
The product selected was clear, vertical grain cedar because it’s lower maintenance than pine. Cedar naturally resists rot and maintained its integrity because it was a natural wood siding option.
Next step was how to finish the product to match the character of the building. Working together with Sherwin Williams, it was agreed that the longest lasting solutions was to finish all six sides of every plank prior to installation. 5280 Exteriors found a local finisher – Rocky Mountain Pre-Stain, who applied one coat of oil based primer, to block the cedar’s tannins from bleeding through the paint. They then applied one finish coat of paint to all six sides as instructed. After the installation, another painting contractor came in and applied a final finish coat of paint.
In addition to the paint and siding used, 5280 Exteriors sourced aluminum corners that matched the same stamp that was used over 100 years ago. Utilizing a building wrap that improved the building’s overall air infiltration, and included flashing techniques that would reduce drafts around penetrations.
WHAT WAS COMPLETED
- Old siding was removed, but the decorative arches and window trim were left in place and flashed around
- High commercial grade air/moisture barrier was applied over the existing sheathing, which was ¾” diagonal tongue and groove
- Flexible flashing was used over arches along with aluminum trim coil to drain water away from the penetrations
- Siding was installed in sections and phases to minimize customer disruptions
The end product will result in less maintenance, an improved aesthetic appearance and a more comfortable customer experience due to the reduced drafts around windows, doors, and penetrations.
Not only were we able to enhance the durability of the historic Stanley Hotel, but we maintained the historic properties that make it a tourist attraction for those traveling to Colorado, and those who live here. Most of all, we hope that Freelan Oscar Stanley would be proud of the preservation of the Stanley.
Want to learn more? Watch the interview below of one our owners and founders – Bryce Steckler – courtesy of Rocky Mountain Forest Products.