After a more than $30 million renovation and expansion, the Morris Inn at the University of Notre Dame reopened to the public Sept. 1 (Sunday). The hotel had been closed since the project began in October.
“The Morris Inn has been completely reimagined to better serve our guests, while still preserving the spirit and tradition of the original hotel and supporting the academic mission of the University,” Director and General Manager Joe Kurth said. “We look forward to welcoming our guests ‘a thousand times over,’ as they experience everything the University of Notre Dame has to offer.”
The Gothic-style exterior of the new Morris Inn aligns with the architecture of other campus buildings, while the hotel’s interior showcases a classic design, highlighted by rich, navy furnishings, light-colored custom millwork and golden paint tones. The expansion increased the total square footage of the building from 72,000 to 137,500, and the number of guest rooms increased from 92 to 150, allowing the inn to better meet guest demand. The number of employees nearly doubled, with 120 currently on staff.
The expansion also included the creation of a 300-seat ballroom and adjacent pre-function space with a separate entrance at the north end of building. The Morris Inn now offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space in conjunction with the Notre Dame Conference Center.
While the historic Sorin’s restaurant remains on the lobby level, two new dining options were added: Rohr’s, a casual pub located off the lobby, and Fireside Terrace, an outdoor space serving the menu from Rohr’s. Three new private dining rooms also were added.
Currently seeking LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the new Morris Inn incorporates a number of sustainable features and practices including a “green roof” for stormwater management and improved air quality, an extensive recycling program, water filtration systems on every floor and LED lights throughout the building. It also will seek a Four Diamond rating from the AAA Diamond Rating Process.
Owned and operated by the University, the Morris Inn was built on the campus in 1952 as the first structure of the Notre Dame post-war building program. It was made possible through a generous donation from 1906 Notre Dame alumnus Ernest M. Morris and his wife, Ella. In 2012, their daughter, Ernestine Morris Carmichael Raclin, along with her family and the Carmichael Foundation, provided a gift to the University for the purpose of funding a major renovation and expansion of the inn. James and Sharon Rohr, Bill and Mary Ann Smith and others also made generous contributions to the project.
“Thanks to the generosity and leadership of longtime Notre Dame friends Ernestine Raclin and her family, the Morris Inn is now positioned to continue the University’s tradition of outstanding hospitality, service and excellence,” said John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president of Notre Dame.
The Morris Inn is located at 130 Notre Dame Ave. and offers “A Higher Degree of Hospitality.” More information and updates on the hotel can be found online at MorrisInn.nd.edu or on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMorrisInn.