The former Merchants-Laclede National Bank in St. Louis, Missouri has been reborn as the 195-room Pennywell St. Louis Downtown, a Hilton Hotel.
Spearheaded by Jacki Arena Interiors, the grandeur of the 19th-century structure has been updated with a refined narrative that references money. “We wanted to bring a fresh modern design to the space, which highlights the beautifully preserved architectural details and bank vault doors,” says Jennifer Lindner, senior designer at Jacki Arena. “Using the building’s original design intent of a national bank with its existing architectural elements, ‘coins’ are our biggest motif that is carried throughout all areas of our design.”
Indeed, the arrival experience is punctuated by a large artwork, installed behind the front desk, that comprises 1,248 coins from 84 different countries. Vintage décor and intricate architectural details pop against green and gold colorways that nod to the site’s financial history.
The Pennydrop Bar + Kitchen is also housed in the ornate former bank hall, stylishly alluding to the city’s legacy of speakeasies. Custom metal screens in the lobby serve as focal points in the lobby bar and lounge as well. “We wanted them to feel as if they were part of the original architectural design and not stand out as something new and disconnected,” Lindner adds.