On Oct. 15, all 70,000 square feet of the new McMenamins Anderson School property in Bothell will open to the public. The McMenamins brothers of Oregon have converted the old art-deco styled Anderson School building into a hotel that sits alongside a restaurant, brewery, movie theater, and Olympic-size pool with a tiki bar overhead. Before crowds were offered the chance to swarm the property, a very special group was invited to tour it first.
“Here’s my father right here!” said Judy Edmonds pointing up to a painting hanging in the hotel.
The man in the painting is Charles Asbury. He was an inspiring music teacher at the school in the 50 and 60s. He conducted a symphonic band as well as a marching band. And while the walls of Anderson School have new coats of paint and carpeted floors, his legacy lives on inside.
The McMenamins brothers are known for converting old historic building into bars, restaurants and hotels. When they bought Anderson School they had their historian conduct interviews with people and relatives whose lives were greatly affected by it. Asbury’s daughter was just one of many who attend the preopening and walked down the halls – a sentimental trip down memory lane.
“It really is amazing. The lighting and the pictures are really incredible,” said Edmonds. “This is history in the making. It’s so good that we cherish the past.”
When Donna Knorr saw her husband’s portrait hanging above the stairs she was overjoyed.
“He looks just like his picture!” she said, explaining that McMenamins requested a photo of him to scan for the artist to reference.
Bob Knorr had been a teacher, a counselor and a principal at the school in the 50s and 60s. His love of education proved to be infectious. Out of his 7 children 6 went on to be teachers. His daughter Marit Krueger got her first job as an English teacher at the school in the same building her father’s portrait now hangs.
“So many teachers gave so much time to this building,” said his son Rob Knorr, who was also a teacher and went on to be the principal in Anacortes School District. While paintings line the halls, each hotel room is named after old coaches, teachers, and Bothell community members. Charles Asbury’s room is on the third floor.
The school was built in 1931 as Bothell Junior High and was later named after the school’s first Principal, Wilbert A. “Andy” Anderson. Anderson School is the McMenamin’s 54 property and their biggest in Washington. Nearly every square inch is covered in decorations that have been produced by local artists or flown in from around the world. A giant wooden sun sculpture from Vietnam hangs over the pool and old wood from Bali boats line the bar overhead.
A bed inside one of the hotel rooms that used to be a classroom.
the Olympic-sized pool will be open to hotel guests as well as the public. Bothell residents who can prove they live in the city can swim for free, outside residents are charged $6. Pool hours are 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A movie theater with comfy seats (we tested them) will play current films. There’s a special theater bar and food menu that includes pizza and burgers. Movie tickets are $9 for adults $7 for kids.
The hallway inside the Anderson School Hotel. They are taking reservations now and prices differ depending on the room.
Tons of little nooks fill corners around the property.
A painting of U.S. senator Patty Murray who grew up in Bothell hangs in the hotel.