The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Lafayette’s own bed and breakfast

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
The Lafayette Inn was once owned by Lafayette’s chapter of Pi Lambda Phi.

On Thursday, the college assumed ownership of The Lafayette Inn, a bed and breakfast on Monroe Street with a rich history intertwined with Lafayette’s own nearly two hundred year past.  

Steele Andrews, the now-former owner of the inn, said that he struggled to keep up with the costs of necessary renovations while preserving the 128-year-old building’s historic charm. 

“It’s a beautiful building,” Andrews said. “It deserves more than I could do, and I’m sure the college will do it right.”

Andrews said that about ten percent of the bed and breakfast’s revenue comes directly from the college, primarily through housing speakers and trustees. Another twenty percent comes from Lafayette families and prospective students staying at the inn. 

Audra Kahr, executive vice president of finance and administration, said there are no immediate renovations planned, but that the college will begin to make changes after evaluating the revenue within the first year of operation.

“I think we can rebrand it a bit inside,” Kahr said. “But [we should keep] the history, the pictures, the legacy, [honor] the past [and] celebrate the future. The history of that building is going to be the story we tell.”

Hurd echoed Kahr’s sentiment regarding renovations. “It does need a bit of a hug,” Hurd said of its current condition. “We’re going to work on some improvements and that’s everything from some furnishing to actual infrastructure.”

Hurd’s goals for the space include increased accessibility and an update to “make it feel like Lafayette in 2023.”

Andrews said that he hopes that guests are understanding during the ownership transition of The Lafayette Inn.

“There’s gonna be a curve where they have to figure out how to make this work properly,” Andrews said. “It’s complicated [with] many moving parts, and it’s not the school’s job to focus on hotels, they’re supposed to focus on students. So people need to give them a break.”

The purchase of the Lafayette Inn is not the college’s first foray into the hotel industry. The Sigma chapter of Pi Lamba Phi, which has not existed on campus since 1983, purchased the Lafayette Inn in 1958 but eventually left the building vacant. The inn was then purchased by a group of investors in 1986.

“It made sense for us to continue that legacy,” Kahr said of the college’s ownership of the inn.

Kahr said that while the current staff is being retained throughout the ownership transition, the college looks to involve students with The Lafayette Inn in the future. 

“If students have interest, please reach out,” Kahr said. “We would love to incorporate that into student opportunities, recognizing that they have academic needs come first, but we would love for our students to be part of the operations of that in any way that they can be or desire to be.” 

The Lafayette Inn, once a single-family home, still hosts the granddaughter of the original owners, along with historical photos and furniture. 

“The house is a living, breathing soul,” Andrews said. “It’s a beautiful old building, and it’s really hard to leave, but it’s the right thing.”

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About the Contributors
Jenny Davis, Staff News Writer
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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  • D

    Dennis GreeneSep 5, 2023 at 10:38 am

    I spent nearly two memorable years under this roof from Sept 1963 through June, 1965 and formed life long friendships there. I’m pleased to learn that it will continue to exist as a part of Lafayette and serve to remind many of us of wonderful days gone by.