Glimpse inside the historic Divine Lorraine Hotel

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The public got a rare chance to take a look inside in the Divine Lorraine Hotel. (Dan Sheridan )

The line to get in the doors of the iconic Divine Lorraine Hotel snaked around two blocks Wednesday night.

"If you have a chance to go in before they do all these changes, you might as well do it," Patrice Worthy of Fairmount said.

"It's so romantic and scary at the same time; it's like a haunted mansion," Jennifer Easton of Fairmount said.

PHOTOS: First look inside Divine Lorraine Hotel

Developers opened the doors to the public to get a first look - at what will soon be luxury apartments and a boutique hotel, and to give a final glimpse - at what the 124 year old building looks like right now.

"It has a real storied past," regional property manager Ed Casella said.

Once owned by spiritual leader Father M.J. Divine, the boarded up building is a Broad Street landmark.

"This building was the first integrated hotel in Philadelphia. It was one of the first buildings to have an elevator, one of the first to have electric," Casella said.

Inside, the old signage, antique pictures and graffiti art are snapshots of its history.

"There are so many stories in this building, not just by the people who lived here before or spent time here as a hotel, but people who broke in and created all this art," Terasina Bonanini of Old City said.

But some were expecting less construction.

"I was hoping to see sample apartments," Ann Levine of Center City said.

"You need a hard hat in there, it's still pretty rough," Bob Bosco of Center City said.

Still, an estimated 2,000 people attended the open house.

"It's a piece of history. It's one of my favorite buildings in the city. I'm moving in two months so I'd love to a catch it before I leave," Zach Wall of North Philadelphia said.

Some of the units have already been leased to renters. The building is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
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