Lafayette College prepares to purchase historic Lafayette Inn
EASTON, Pa. — Lafayette College is on the cusp of closing a deal to acquire the legendary Lafayette Inn, representatives from the school announced Thursday.
According to a release, the college and inn, just a few blocks from each one another, are finalizing transition plans for the school to take ownership of the property soon.
- Lafayette College is set to take ownership of the historic Lafayette Inn by the end of August
- The college plans to continue running the property as an inn, and plans to renovate and repair the property once it takes over
- Lafayette Inn is nearly 130 years old, and sits on property that once was part of the Wagner farm
The inn went up for sale in early 2023, and the closing is scheduled for Aug. 31.
Lafayette College has confirmed plans to continue operation of the property as an inn and to invest in any needed renovations and upgrades needed over time.
Reservations will continue to be accepted and honored through the change in ownership, the release said.
“The Lafayette Inn plays a significant role in our campus community, College Hill, and the greater Easton and Lehigh Valley region."Audra Kahr, Lafayette’s executive vice president for Finance and Administration
“The Lafayette Inn plays a significant role in our campus community, College Hill, and the greater Easton and Lehigh Valley region,” Audra Kahr, Lafayette’s executive vice president for finance and administration, said.
“The inn hosts many families visiting their students at Lafayette, potential Leopards touring the campus, and alumni who visit or speak at the college.
"We are thrilled to keep the property operating as an inn that will continue to welcome community members, Lafayette families and visitors to Easton.”
A rich history
The land on which the inn sits once was part of the Wagner farm, owned by one of the families that helped settle Easton three generations earlier in the mid-1700s.
Built by Elizabeth Wagner Leary in 1895 during a time when development in College Hill was booming, the former farmland had become increasingly valuable and desirable, the Inn’s website states.
The first known tenant and eventual owner of 510 Cattell St. was George Elder, superintendent of Ingersoll Rand Company. The Elder family renovated and enlarged the home about 1917, and maintained control of the property for the next 20 years.
The elegant Georgian mansion was bought by a group of investors who transformed it into a 15-bedroom inn that opened in late 1986.The Lafayette Inn website
The Great Depression hit the area hard in 1929, leading to the building being separated into smaller apartments. In 1937, it was sold at a sheriff’s sale, then changed hands multiple times of the next few decades.
In 1958, the property was bought by the Sigma Chapter of Lafayette’s Pi Lambda Phil fraternity. The fraternity declined throughout the 1970s before breaking up in 1982, leaving the house empty.
The elegant Georgian mansion was bought by a group of investors who transformed it into a 15-bedroom inn that opened in late 1986.
Over the years, the inn has evolved into what now is an 18-bedroom bed and breakfast.