McMenamins Kennedy School
This historic Portland, Oregon-area former elementary school dispenses with arithmetic and reading, endeavoring instead to educate its guests about beer, food and how to have a good time. Built in 1912, the once-abandoned building was renovated to create a cool, laid-back environment in keeping with the region it's located in.
This pet-friendly establishment offers a movie theater and several on-site restaurants and bars to quench the thirsts of whisky and craft beer enthusiasts. It even hosts Concordia Brewery, situated in the part of the school that used to function as the girls lavatory. The school also fancies itself an art gallery of sorts, featuring many modern and historic pieces throughout the hallways. The rooms in the main building still have the original chalkboards.
None of this would have been possible, had orders to demolish the previously condemned property been followed. Fortunately, the building was saved in the 11nth hour and has since been retooled and preserved for the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike [source: McMenamins]. Any "school" that produces kegs on-site gets an A-plus in my grade book!
Author's Note: 10 Strange Buildings Where You Can Spend the Night
I appreciate the amenities and comforts that many standard hotel chains have to offer. That said, I once had the opportunity to spend several nights in a small British castle, and I certainly remember much more about that experience than any other basic hotel stay.
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