Stop 2. Boone Tavern

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By 1909, Berea College was attracting so many visitors (300 in one summer!) that Nellie Frost, wife of the College president, suggested that a guest house was needed to accommodate visitors. The original Boone Tavern was a two-story building with 25 guest rooms, built by the College Woodwork Department of College-manufactured bricks and furnished with College-made cherry furniture. A series of renovations expanded the hotel, adding stately entrances and modernizing the rooms and furnishings. In 1992, Boone Tavern was designated a “Historic Hotel of America” and in 1996 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The tavern underwent an $11.3 million full-scale renovation during 2008 to 2009 to make significant upgrades to the building’s infrastructure, improve efficiency and lower operating costs. The overarching principle for the renovation was to maintain Boone Tavern’s historic character while creating a green hotel for the 21st century, and to do so in the most environmentally responsible way. As a result, Boone Tavern was awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first LEED certified hotel in Kentucky as well as the Appalachian region, and one of 21 LEED Gold or Platinum hotels in America. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is the nation’s preeminent certification program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.