Hilton Garden Inn

Boasting direct access to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the renowned Reading Terminal Market, the Hilton Garden Inn offers 279 rooms. Utilizing the air-rights of an existing parking garage, the development and construction of this full-service hotel posed enormous urban design and technical engineering challenges. The hotel was erected over an existing and continuously operated 1970s-era, five-story, pre-cast concrete municipal parking structure.

Challenges involved resolution of complex title, easement, and zoning issues; extensive investigation into the condition and suitability of the existing structure; and threading complex vertical access (stairs, elevators, and structural bracing) through the edifice. This major addition was also subject to securing design approvals from no less that seven public agencies and boards having jurisdiction over this prominent site. Additional challenges were to secure approvals from Hilton for an urban adaptation of their rigorous brand standards.

The organization of this hotel was essentially inverted, whereby the Hilton Garden Inn’s trademarked Pavilion public lobby and dining spaces, more typically on the ground level, were placed at the very top of the building to take advantage of enhanced views and sunlight and to facilitate larger clear-span spaces, while the typical guest room floors are below. To preserve more precious retail presence at the street level and the many garage access points and ramps, a very modest ground-level check-in area greets arriving guests. Then patrons ascend to the real lobby spaces above, providing some respite from the otherwise bustling and congested area of the downtown core.

The hotel serves tourists, conventioneers, and exhibitors alike with a gourmet three-meal restaurant, various meeting and board rooms, a business center, and an indoor fitness center and pool.

Owner / Client: Switzenbaum Realty Capital Group