In August 2019, the brand new Williams Inn in Williamstown, Massachusetts, opened its doors after a much-anticipated construction period. This $32 million project was meant to reinvigorate the center of the city while providing some much-needed lodging for those staying in the area of nearby Williams College. With help from some very talented architects, designers, suppliers, and installers, the Williams Inn now serves the area with 64 beautiful guest rooms, a 3,200-square-foot event space, an on-site bar/restaurant, and many more amenities.
Before the construction of this new three-section property, the old Williams Inn operated on Williamstown's Main Street. The location of the prior Inn was not ideal, nor was the building's layout and design. Ultimately, Williams College saw the opportunity to relocate it to the center of Williamstown's commercial district to better attract and meet the needs of clientele.
Connecticut Stone, the stone supplier and recipient of the Natural Stone Institute's 2020 Pinnacle Award of Excellence, was involved in the renovation. CambridgeSeven (lead architect), Stimson Studio (landscape architect), and Champlain Masonry (stone installer) were also instrumental in the collaboration and in helping to make this vision come to life.
The designers and builders behind the new Williams Inn wanted the property to look and feel as though it had been there for years by deeply rooting it into the landscape of the mountains and local heritage. The space also needed to be large enough to serve as the area's destination hotel, not just for those staying near the college but for visiting tourists. An additional must-have in the renovation of this project was finding a natural stone material that could complement dolomite used throughout the campus in the 19th century – including something that worked seamlessly was key.
Liberty Hill™ Granite was the perfect option for this project, not just because of its variegated veining but because the color tones and the scale and richness of its patterning could be tailored to achieve a look that worked for the project. The desired look included a blend of darker greys and veining for the split-faced facade, a thermal finished base, and window trim details. In addition, granite is used on the terraces and has a random running bond pattern.
The result is a stunning property that utilizes plenty of natural stone to complement existing buildings on the Williams College campus. In addition, the use of barn wood siding delivers a rustic feel that blends in seamlessly with the nearby Berkshire Mountains landscape.
Connecticut Stone received the 2020 Pinnacle Award in the Commercial Exterior category for our work at Williams Inn. This award recognizes beauty, creativity, ingenuity, craftsmanship, and professional mastery in using natural stone in commercial and residential applications. Judges commented on the modern interpretation of the traditional vernacular and other details like the perfect material selection for the campus and the surrounding area, the detailing at the ashlar pattern (especially at the coping), and the variety of mottling in our Liberty Hill Granite.
The Williams Inn has also received the LEED Gold Certification, a 2021 Hospitality Design Award from the Boston Society for Architecture, and a 2020 Honorable Mention as a Mountain Destination by the LIV Hospitality Design Awards.
The team at Connecticut Stone was extremely honored to be recognized for the beauty and quality of our work in collaboration with the talented design professionals at CambridgeSeven and Stimson Studio, who envisioned our stone on this historical project. The Williams Inn project serves not only the practical needs of its clientele but it blends in beautifully with the unique landscape and local heritage. We hope to see the Williams Inn continue to draw in guests and revitalize the Williamstown area for many years to come.