Press Releases

February 25, 2009
Historic Hotel Bethlehem Restores Terrazzo, Marble & Mosaic Lobby

Bethlehem, Pa. (February 25, 2009) -  General Manager of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, Dennis Costello is please to announce the restoration of the historic hotel’s original lobby terrazzo, marble and mosaic floor.

The owners of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem have been conscientious caretakers of the historic structure and have undertaken a wide-ranging plan of conservation and restoration of the historic hotel, built by renowned Philadelphia architects Ritter and Shay in the early twenties.

“The conservation of the hotel’s terrazzo and mosaic lobby floor has been an interesting one” says one of the hotel’s owners, Bruce Haines. “We knew the substance would be of quality, as is everything we uncover of Ritter & Shay’s original composition, but we did not know exactly what it would be made of and we did not know the extent of damage we might have to deal with.”   The floor, which has been covered with wall-to-wall carpeting for many decades, is made of terrazzo, a substance made of marble chips.  Along the perimeter of the lobby is a beautiful design of inlaid marble mosaic tiles in harmonizing colors.

After removing the carpeting and scraping at least a quarter of inch of rock hard carpeting epoxy off the floor, the restoration plan came to a grinding halt when the work crew found that along most of the walls and outside of the two elevators the terrazzo had been removed and filled in with concrete.  “We still can’t figure out why it would have been removed” says Bob Barron, president of Phillipsburg Marble Company, Inc. the marble conservation team hired to restore the floor.  Barron adds that “Removing the concrete without damaging the mosaic was quite a chore.”  Marble matching the original colors of mosaic tile was found and replaced.

In addition to the “missing marble”, some of the terrazzo has substantial cracks in it, so much so that the hotel hired artist, Robert Averill, who has meticulously painted the restored concrete to match the terrazzo and blend perfectly with the original floor, not an easy job considering the average size of a singe marble chip is about half a centimeter with about 6 separate colors.

The Historic Hotel Bethlehem is located in Bethlehem, Pa, in the center of the Lehigh Valley, minutes from Lehigh University and Moravian College and a five-minute drive from Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE).  We are conveniently situated in the heart of Bethlehem’s nationally registered, historic district, with an array of quaint shops and colonial museums.  The Historic Hotel Bethlehem was built in the “roaring twenties” by steel baron, multi-millionaire, Charles M. Schwab, and is steeped in history.  Experience world-class service, charming guest accommodations and award winning cuisine, all on a site that has been warmly welcoming guests since 1741.

For reservations for please contact The Historic Hotel Bethlehem at (610) 625-5000, or visit our Website at

The Historic Hotel Bethlehem is a privately owned hotel, and a proud member of Historic Hotels of America.





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