255 East Illinois Road

Year of award: 
Award category: 
Original architect: 
Lynn and William Jones
Year built: 
Restoration architect: 
Knauer, Incorporated

 The meticulous renovation of the Deer Path Inn took twelve months to complete and was unveiled last December. Viewing the exterior, passersby might not notice anything different, except possibly the updated logo and signage, new patio area, and fireplace on the east side. However, the carefully restored details of the Inn’s exterior make the whole building sparkle, like a newly polished and reset vintage diamond.

Each window was removed and sent for restoration or replaced, as needed. The façade was rehabilitated carefully with necessary masonry repair, while making sure the ivy was not disturbed in the process. “We wanted to leave it alone as best we could to preserve the English manor house style,” said Matt Barba, Innkeeper.

Stepping inside, one sees the sparkle turn to a warm glow with familiar aesthetics retained in the public space, such as window seats, original woodwork, and welcoming fireplaces. Overnight guests can now enjoy totally refurbished rooms and suites with beautiful marble bathrooms, individual room climate control, multiple electrical outlets in easy-to-find places, and updated, yet classic, décor. Much of the renovation is hidden in the infrastructure with a complete  replacement of all the electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling systems. This comprehensive renovation ensures that each guest’s experience will meet 21st-century standards, wrapped in 19th-century charm.

The original, local architects, Lynn and William Jones, were inspired by the Tudor half-timbered and stone Manor House of Chiddingstone (circa 1453) when they designed the Inn in the 1920s. After a fire in 1938, Stanley Anderson’s firm rebuilt the Inn, retaining its Manor House character. Local architectural firm Knauer, Inc. designed the renovation, and members of the management team traveled to England to tour estates and inns for inspiration, and to verify authenticity. The renovation plan ensured local residents would receive benefits as well. Unlike a typical English inn with 100 rooms and one dining area, the Deer Path has only 57 rooms, but three spacious dining rooms. The porch off the English Room has been turned into dramatic dining area, resembling a glass conservatory. A repurposed room off the lobby, now the Hearth Room, provides guests with a cozy place to enjoy a cocktail or relax during the day. Craig Bergmann was the landscape architect on the project.