FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2017
Contact: Amy Catania, executive director, HISTORIC SARANAC LAKE
Saranac Lake, NY - Historic Saranac Lake invites visitors to step back in time to explore the 1920s with new exhibit. “The Roaring Twenties: Check in to a Grand Hotel” opens to the public on Wednesday at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The new John Black Room exhibit explores the decade through the context of a grand hotel of the era and celebrates the upcoming reopening of the restored Hotel Saranac.
“Saranac Lake was once famous for it’s grand hotels, but the Hotel Saranac is the last remaining historic hotel in the village,” said Executive Director Amy Catania. “We are thrilled that it is coming back, and we wanted to go back in time and understand what Saranac Lake was like when it was built. The roaring twenties is a great theme — the fashions are fun and the social change that was occurring is so interesting.”
Visitors will think about the cultural history of the decade as they explore spaces in a 1920s hotel such as a guest room, a ballroom, and a speakeasy. “A lot of work went into making the exhibit interactive and more than a ‘book on the wall,’” said Museum Administrator, Chessie Monks-Kelly. “We built room dividers to create the various venues of a hotel, which really adds interest. Our artists have done an amazing job bringing the spaces to life.”
Local artists, Hannah Gochenaur, Morgan Paul, and Maria DeAngelo painted the mural backdrops. Pendragon Theatre Costume and Set Designer, Kent Streed, consulted on the project early on, helping to brainstorm key theatrical features. The exhibit incorporates local history, images, historic film footage, and artifacts from other local historic hotels such as Paul Smith’s Hotel, the Algonquin, the Berkeley, the Grand Union, the St. Regis, the Riverside Inn, and the Saranac Inn.
Grants from Humanities New York supported consultations with Molly Berger, Ph.D., author of Hotel Dreams: Technology, Luxury, and Urban Ambition in America, and with Sara Hume, PhD, Curator and Associate Professor at the Kent State University Museum. Visitors to the new Roaring Twenties Exhibit can also see the permanent exhibit on science and patient care in the main laboratory space at the museum.
The Saranac Laboratory Museum is open year-round, Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 - 4:00. From Memorial Day to Columbus Day the museum is also open on Saturdays from 10:00 - 4:00. Admission is $5, members of Historic Saranac Lake and children are free of charge. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The Saranac Laboratory Museum is located on 89 Church Street in downtown Saranac Lake. The exhibit is slated to stay on display through the end of the summer season of 2018.