Mackinac Island, MI
312,000 square feet
National Historic Landmark
Built in 1887 as a summer destination resort, The Grand Hotel is the most recognized and visited building on historic Mackinac Island. The iconic front porch is recognized internationally as the world’s longest porch. Through generations The Grand Hotel’s owners have faced the challenge of maintaining its historic charm and significance while providing modern comforts and amenities to a discriminating clientele. The fact that The Grand Hotel is both a National Historic Landmark and an AAA 4-Diamond Hotel demonstrates the balance that the owners have achieved.
Since 1992 the Musser family has entrusted its hotel to the HopkinsBurns team. HopkinsBurns has led the owners through more than fifty diverse projects ranging from the 50,000 square feet Millennium Wing addition to a tiny mobile chocolate kiosk. The Millennium Wing is the largest project undertaken by The Grand Hotel since its original construction. Already one of the world’s largest wood structures, the hotel far exceeds the size limits of modern building codes. Thus the new wing was cleverly and sensitively designed in steel and concrete to be contextual with the existing hotel (as a separate building) without detracting from its unique historic charm.
The challenges of The Grand Hotel go beyond the restrictions of Historic Landmark regulations and modern codes. The hotel, as a summer resort, is open May through October. All construction is completed during the off season when temperatures can reach 20 degrees below zero. The island is only accessible by air or snowmobile after the Straits of Mackinac freeze. The HopkinsBurns team’s careful planning and design considerations accommodate those constraints.
Refusing to rest on their success, the Musser family continues improvements to the hotel and its property. Current projects include a sushi bar next to the Gatehouse Restaurant, porch restoration and the reconstruction of dormers which historically graced the roof, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac.
A quarter of a million guests come to The Grand Hotel every season to experience tradition and old world elegance. It is a special place that people hold in their hearts, a place where guests create cherished lifelong memories. HopkinsBurns is truly honored by the trust the Musser family has placed in them, and for the opportunity to be a part of this most special place’s still unfolding history.