Lark Hotels will open the Blind Tiger, a nine-room guesthouse in Portland, Maine, this month. The company’s second Portland spot and fourth existing property in the state, Blind Tiger pays homage to the city’s many tastemakers, both past and present.
Blind Tiger occupies a Federal-style mansion that was built in 1823 by Joseph Holt Ingraham. It has had many different occupants and served multiple purposes: a private home, a seminary, a school, and most recently, an inn.
Its second occupants, the Thomas family, were those who perhaps embraced a celebratory spirit most. They expanded the original footprint to better accommodate gatherings and hosting guests, with an addition designed by noted Portland architect John Calvin Stevens. With its reputation for grand parties, the building became known to the neighborhood as “Social Corners.” Even during Prohibition, its owners held festivities in a secret room below ground. Since then, the building has been maintained for almost 200 years. Original features like the rooftop cupola and a hidden billiards room in the basement have been preserved.
Designed by Amesbury, Massachusetts firm Elder & Ash, Blind Tiger’s interiors are inspired by Portland and its reputation as a hub for creativity and forward-thinking. Designers found inspiration in some of the city’s most out-of-the-box thinkers. Each of Blind Tiger’s nine guest rooms pulled their vision from the city’s inventive nature, from vintage finds that hint at the history, to modern art reflecting its current position as an innovation hub. No two guestrooms are the same, a conscious effort to reflect the unique ingenuity of each “host” and room inspiration—including Eight Bells, which channels Winslow Homer’s stormy sea scene on display at the Portland Museum of Arts; and Event Records, which honors local music maven Al Hawkes with the help of host Spencer Albee, a well-known Portland musician. Bold colors are paired with natural textures in the living and bar rooms, while a billiards room provides a venue for cocktails.
Photo: Courtesy of Lark Hotels