Friday, September 6, 2013

Conrad Hilton's Dream Becomes Green, Modern, Yet Traditional

After a long, weary day of traveling to NM from PA, we checked into the Hotel Andaluz in downtown Albuquerque. The hotel was the first hotel built by Conrad Hilton, a native New Mexican, in the 1930's. It is now a national historic landmark. It was the tallest building in NM, the first to be air conditioned and the first building to have an elevator. It has housed many presidents, famous scientists and movie stars.

Now in the 21st century, the Andaluz is becoming the most sustainable historic hotel in the nation. It is now "green by design" after undergoing a 35 million dollar renovation project. The hotel has an award winning energy management system. Seventy per cent of the electricity used in the hotel is renewable. The live plants in hotel are being watered with captured rain water. Most of the furniture is made of bamboo or rubber wood, both rapidly renewable resources. The carpet, carpet padding, paints, stains and adhesives in our room were chosen to make the room environment as healthy as possible.

As an art lover, I was pleased to learn that even the debris from the renovation project was carefully recycled. For example, the hotel's old cast iron tubs and sinks did not go to a landfill. They were donated to a local college where they were melted down and recast as works of art. We applaud the Andaluz for providing a peaceful, sustainable oasis in the middle of a busy city.

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