The Divine Lorraine Hotel is a 124-year-old establishment near downtown Philadelphia that for 16 years stood completely abandoned. The building's past is somewhat twisted, with a history involving cult leaders, and its interior was filled with rubble and peeling paint for many years.
The hotel and its Victorian-style architecture have become a staple in the Philly skyline, as well as a place for urban explorers to venture into if they dare. Photographer Matt Hurst, who is well-versed in shooting abandoned spaces, documented the interior of the hotel for the first time in 2007, and then again in 2010, to see what was left of the historic landmark.
But now the hotel is in the middle of a $44 million transformation into apartments that are currently available for pre-leasing. They'll be ready for move-in sometime before the end of the year, according to Curbed Philadelphia.
Hurst shared some of his photos of the hotel with Business Insider, which we've combined with photos of its past.
Architect Willis Hale was known for his unique Victorian designs and sturdy engineering. He worked on the Divine from 1892 to 1894. His use of terra cotta tile in the floors prevented molding and rotting, which is one of the reasons the building is still intact today.
Originally built as a housing complex, the Lorraine Apartments were intended for Philly's upper-class residents. This is what it looked like inside when it later became a hotel. In the 1940s, rooms could be rented for $5.50 a night.
Locals are intrigued by the hotel — the more than 3,000 hashtagged Instagram posts are proof — but many are unaware of its full history.
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