Past & Present
Learn How the Lodge Came to Be
The land where The Lodge at St. Edward State Park currently sits was first purchased by Bishop Edward John O’Dea in the late 1920s. He donated the 366-acre plot to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle for the building of Saint Edward Seminary, where young men would be educated for the priesthood. The seminary was designed by notable Seattle architect John Graham Sr. and completed in 1931. His firm, John Graham & Company, is responsible for many notable buildings in Seattle and throughout the country, including the iconic Space Needle.
The seminary served as an important facility until 1957, when enrollment started to decline following the opening of Saint Thomas the Apostle Seminary. It continued operating until 1976, fulfilling its educational duties for forty-five proud years. Though the seminary was no longer needed, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen had a vision of preserving the grounds as a state park, having fallen in love with the area’s natural beauty as a student at Saint Edward Seminary. Rather than sell the property to the highest bidder, he worked with the state to make his dream possible.
In 1977, the property and the majority of the land were sold to the State of Washington to become Saint Edward State Park. The park’s enchanting trails, lake views, and gorgeous fir, cedar, and maple trees drew plenty of love from locals, and the building itself became a beloved symbol of the area. However, after not getting much use over the years, the building was in need of a sizable renovation.
In 2017, Daniels Real Estate entered into a public-private partnership to preserve and transform the main building into The Lodge at St. Edward Park. A meticulous restoration of the exterior façade, including the roof and all original windows was completed, and the interior design was transformed to evolve the seminary building into a Pacific Northwest-inspired lodge, preserving the iconic landmark building for generations to come.
The Lodge at St. Edward State Park was born, and now it’s ready to introduce guests to the area’s fascinating history and pristine natural splendor.
Owners Kevin and Mary Daniels now preside over The Lodge as hosts, and their unique inspiration draws from some of the finest hotel experiences throughout their world travels. Led by their vision, The Lodge is so much more than a hotel, but rather a deep sense of place and belonging, locally inspired and rooted in the community.
The building is a blend of Romanesque Revival architecture and Art Deco interiors. This curious combination served as inspiration during the renovation process when new colors, design and décor were chosen. Our hope is that visitors and guests enjoy the building’s historic authenticity, evident in its design’s intricate details, as well as its refined and relaxed atmosphere, influenced by the surrounding greenery of the state park.
The historic preservation project was led by Daniels Real Estate, a firm renowned for preservation work with a focus on reflecting the past while inspiring the future. Their approach is thoughtful and unequaled in the Pacific Northwest, leading to three National Preservation Awards for previous projects. The preservation and renovation of the seminary building is an example of adaptive reuse, wherein the new uses of spaces are similar to their former purposes. For instance:
- Former dormitory rooms were combined and enlarged, now forming 84 guestrooms.
- Former classrooms that look onto the park are now flexible meeting and event spaces.
- The dining hall has now transformed into Cedar + Elm restaurant.
- The former barbershop for seminary students is now The Tonsorium Bar.
- The seminary’s social hall, where students could gather in larger groups is now the Remington Ballroom.