The sleepy town of Oberlin, Ohio is primarily known for being home to an historic college of the same name, but its reputation may be refreshed by the addition of a new LEED-certified hotel. The Hotel at Oberlin, whose profits will establish scholarships for students of Oberlin College, celebrated its opening this month. The hotel has a host of sustainable features, ranging from solar power to geothermal heat, as well as reclaimed building materials and locally-sourced foods in the onsite restaurant, making it an environmental star in the heartland.
In addition to 70 guest rooms and suites, the Hotel at Oberlin features a bar and restaurant serving locally-sourced foods. The hotel’s adjoined conference facility, the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, includes a 3,800-square-foot event space with state-of-the-art meeting technology as well as a cozier 850-square-foot meeting room perfectly suited for smaller groups. The facility also houses 1,300 square feet of “pre-event” space, including a terrace overlooking Tappan Square, a public park in the center of the city that is also designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Designed by Chicago-based architecture firm SCB (Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz), the Hotel at Oberlin boasts a special accomplishment for its sustainable construction. The hotel is one of only five in the nation designed to meet the LEED Platinum standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the only such hotel owned by a college. The hotel is also reportedly the first in the country to be fitted with radiant heating and cooling that relies on geothermal energy, which is much more environmentally friendly than forced air systems. The hotel will also derive electricity from solar panels to further reduce its reliance on grid power, aiming for net zero energy status.
Next year, Ohio-born artist Maya Lin—architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.—will erect a permanent three-part sculptural installation in the hotel’s lobby and exterior grounds. The installation is inspired by the local climate and landscape, the final part of Lin’s “Ohio Trilogy.” The Hotel at Oberlin is located 35 miles southwest of Cleveland.
Images via SCB