Ramble On

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Smokin' Wood

Mickey had stopped by Hawksbill Cabin last week and taken care of all the leaves. With more than a dozen oaks, a half dozen hickories, and various other odds and ends for deciduous trees in the one acre plus (cleared) yard - there's about two acres still in woods, this endeavor takes quite a bit of time; he also has been keeping an eye on the grading of our driveway, where any heavy rain makes for gullies.

Inspired by the cleanup, I gathered a couple of four- and five-inch pine and apple branches I’d saved from pruning this year to make some logs for my firepit. They both seasoned through the summer and are now primed for winter fires on the brick terrace. I tested some of the pine out this weekend, it worked great, and I have the smoky scent embedded in one of my Carhardtt hats to show for it.

The apple is destined to be smoking wood for something later in the winter. I had been thinking I would go ahead and use it on the briskets I’ve been saving, but now I think I may get together a couple of pork tenderloins and try that instead.

I am also seasoning this big section of white oak for future use. When my friend Bill from Tampa was up a few weeks back, he salvaged this from a neighbor’s yard and brought it over. I don’t have a specific plan for it yet, but I am working on it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 Tech-watch Geek Series

It's getting to be holiday season, and I like to check in on all the "tech watches" at this time of year.  So let's get started!

Of course, I have a Casio that I have been enjoying this year since Mary gave it to me last Christmas.  I used the altimeter function most recently last Saturday up on Stonyman Mountain, where I took this measurement.

Here you can see I have a reading of 1060 meters, or about 3,286 feet.  My reference point is the sign, which says that the actual altitude is 3,837 feed.  This variation is typical for altimeters reading barometric pressure...it's important to find a reference point like this handy sign early in the hike to peg the variation.

Weather factors can introduce variation as well, once again reinforcing the need to have a good reference point.  Then you can better evaluate variation that seems to change too rapidly - after all, it could be a storm moving in, and you don't want to be caught by surprise.

FYI, here is an Amazon link to the Casio Pathfinder like mine...I'll take a look at this year's offerings from Suunto, Tissot, and Tech 4 oh over the next week or so.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Fall View of Old Rag

On my way to Stonyman on Saturday night, I caught sight of Old Rag’s northwest face in the harsh fall sunlight, all those rocky promontories gleaming there, shining in reflection – in fact, the exposed granite on the mountain is one of the main things that makes it so unique on the Blue Ridge. I had to stop at one of the best views of the mountain from Skyline Drive, the Thoroughfare Mountain Overlook. From there, you can scamper down a path through a meadow to a couple of large boulders, then climb up and get a look from only a couple of miles away.

There’s also a good view from the Hawksbill Mountain summit, but it offers a view of the southwest face. Both of these views will give you a good idea of how the mountain got its name – from the deposits of “Old Rag Granite” that is exposed in a long ridge along the summit. Most mid-Atlantic area readers know about Old Rag, the rock scramble through all of that rock is a very popular destination.

Old Rag Mountain is located in Madison County, just south of Sperryville; Wikipedia has its summit at 3,291 feet. According to Hiking Upward, it is probably the most popular hiking destination in our region. I’ve added links at the end of this post for reference to this information.

There’s a third resource with information about the mountain that I like to check from time to time. One of the blogs I follow is Bob Look’s, who is one of the volunteers that patrols the summit during peak hiking season and other times. He has a relationship with the NPS, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, and the Old Rag Mountain Stewards (ORMS) – in addition to providing helpful information along the trail, ORMS is very active in searches and rescues on Old Rag.

A look at Bob’s blog will not only give you an idea of this organization’s commitment to Old Rag, and all the training they go through to stay ready for the call when it comes, but it also has links to additional useful information about the hike. And he has a few colleagues that also keep blogs – a browse of all of these will give you a good idea of the experience of this mountain, as well as its beauty.

And here on Hawksbill Cabin, we also have our Old Rag story – you can find it by clicking on the Old Rag label at the end of this post. About three years ago, Chris and I set out and did the scramble as a day hike. It wasn’t crowded on our day, but from the experience I’ll add my own recommendation – everyone who’s up for the challenge should try this one. 

Finally, I like to take a look at Google Earth, where I have a push pin at the Hawksbill Cabin location.  Zooming out, the mountain is almost due east of us, about 6.5 miles away on the other side of the Blue Ridge.  So as I approach from the east, Old Rag is like a beacon to me.

Here are the links I mentioned above:


After a few minutes of enjoying the view, I headed back up to the overlook and my car. I met a couple in the lot who also had stopped – they described being arrested by the beautiful sight of the mountain off in the distance. I offered to take a picture of the two of them with the mountain in the background, and then headed off for my little outing on Stonyman.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not a Shy Buck...

When I was up in the Park on Saturday, this big fella was hanging out beside Skyline Drive.  I mean really, doesn't he know what season it is?

In my experience it is pretty rare to encounter antlered deer up in the Park; they seem to stay out of sight for the most part.  Last year I saw a five year old up at Big Meadow - that was a rack that really stopped traffic, especially since he was in one of the most popular parts of the Park on one of the busiest weekends!

Actually, the Park started closing some sections for hunting season last weekend.  As I entered on Saturday afternoon, I was advised that the North District (Front Royal to Thornton Gap) and the South District (Elkton to Waynesboro) would close at five p.m. until daylight for to prevent illegal hunting.  I'm not sure about the permitting situation, but I've heard that the hunting here is reserved for employees.

I've learned (and thanks to posumcop for pointing me in the right direction) that these closures are actually to prevent illegal hunting in the Park.  There is a link to learn more here:  http://www.nps.gov/shen/parknews/park-announces-night-closure-of-the-skyline-drive-during-hunting-season.htm
If you're planning a visit, be sure and check in for potential closings.  You don't want to find yourself locked in the Park with hunting going on  and have to hike out!

GWNF/Massanutten Fire - View from Stonyman

On Saturday afternoon I took a late drive up to the Park with the plan to take the short hike on Stonyman Mountain.

I've written about this pleasant hike a few times before; with the beautiful fall day we were having I expected crowds and my expectations were met.

However, there are still a couple of spots up there I know about that don't get so much foot traffic, including this one - the outcropping to the right is one that most people visit, I head on over to this one.

In the distance, you can see the fire that has been burning for about a week on Massanutten.  This fire is in the vicinity of Duncan Knob, and reports currently are describing the location as Duncan Hollow - but it definitely affects and threatens parts of Luray.

The paper says it appears to have started near one of the trails there, and that it is likely accidental.  But it has covered a couple of hundred acres already.

By Sunday, it seems to have burned down to a more manageable fire than it appeared in these last two posts, basically smoldering away.  I'll keep an eye out for news over the next few days.

Friday, November 19, 2010

GWNF/Massanutten Fire - Update 11-19

I've gotten into town early today and as I crested Thornton Gap coming over the Blue Ridge I immediately saw that our fire is still going on over on Massanutten Mountain.  As I understand it, it smoldered after the rains this week, but never really went out.  While I don't have confirmation yet, it is likely a back fire was lit to burn some of the fuel to help accelerate it's going out.

Looks to be a couple of hundred acres now.  Still high up on the mountain, but since it is hanging there right above town obviously a lot of people are watching it.

I'll post a new status on this one Sunday night - we'll see what happens with it over the weekend.

Thanks to Gary, Linda, Howard and Andy at Appalachian Outdoors Adventures for the wireless hookup today!  (...and the background music is MacArthur Park...excellent!)

Clarendon Construction - Old Logo, New Logo

A few weeks ago, they changed the sign on our building from my company's old logo to it's new one.  I work at AECOM, a large architect-engineering firm, by the way, and if you are interested in more research the NYSE symbol is ACM.  I don't write much about my work here, and will keep to that practice; however, since I do post on Clarendon Construction, this post has a place on the blog.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but I was lucky enough to catch pretty much the whole process - a morning shot of the building with the old sign, the sign coming down, the installers in their gantry, and the new sign.  All in all the process was less than four hours...but now, as you're heading up Wilson Boulevard from the east, you'll see us from a few blocks away. 

By the way, if I haven't mentioned it lately, I hate this new photo interface on Blogspot.

...and if you are coming to visit me, my office is just a few feet to the right and just below the "M."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clarendon Construction - November 2010, post 1

I have some catching up to do on the Clarendon Construction series. Starting with this post, I’ll have a series of three reports on everything going on around us there at the office. The posts are about the crane installation in the air rights development, the installation of the new logo sign on the building I work in, and then some miscellaneous updates from the north block development I’ve been watching go up across the street.

Earlier this month they brought in the tower crane for the Clarendon Views site near my office. I have been calling this the “air rights” development because of the unique concept it involves, building over the old sanctuary space of the church.

Once the excavation and support lagging was completed, they built a small foundation pad for the crane to stand on. Concrete trucks came and went continuously overnight to complete the single pour, and then the pad was left to cure for about 10 days.

Then one beautiful fall morning trucks began to arrive with the components, which were carefully assembled over the course of two days. In one of these photos you can see a group of workers at the end of the in-progress boom, waiting for the end section to be lifted to them so they could attach it to the rig.
So now we have another crane gracing our skyline here in Clarendon. It’s been about 9 months since they took the others down – people are getting used to having such an iconic feature on the horizon around here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Massanutten/GWNF Fire Update - 11/17

A quick note, over on WHSV, the lunch time update has a short report on the two fires we've been following on the blog.  Both are on Massanutten Mountain, north of the US 211 gap.

Apparently overnight rains helped to control the fire, WHSV even goes as far as to say they are out.  However, 40 firefighters remain standing by - the high winds that have followed overnight rains could cause a flare up.

That report is at 3:20 in the 11-17 video update, if you are interested.

Stocking Up

It's fall, and one of my favorite things to do at the Hawksbill Cabin during this season is to sit out on the brick porch in the evenings with a fire going.  Heck, I'll even sit by the fire well into winter, as evidenced by the photo below - this picture highlights my survival strategy during last winter's "snowpocalypse."

Mary bought me this new firepit to replace the old one, and we went to Wal-Mart Sunday so I could stock up on fake logs, shown here.

One thing I've noticed out there, since the canopy is mostly down.  I can see the lights from the houses up on Tanners Ridge at night, sometimes a car in a driveway, etc.  But frequently I see a fire going up there, and I imagine that they are sitting around a firepit enjoying themselves just like I am.

I have 12 new logs, plus two left over from the summer.  This should be just about enough to ensure I survive the winter. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GWNF/Massanutten Fires - Update 11/16

This morning, WHSV is reporting that the two wildfires I posted on last night have grown to 100 and 400 acres, respectively.  Here is a link to the article that is up on their website this morning:

The article reports that a helicopter is still being used to fight the fires.  In one case, the location sounds close to town, they provide the Caverns Club golf course as a point of reference, so plenty of reason to keep an eye on it!

Also, there was a smaller brush fire in Stanley yesterday, but our local firefighters were able to take care of that one quickly.  It's also reported on the WHSV site.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gwnf/Massanutten FIres - this time to the North

Thanks to alert reader Marjie for the comment about new fires Page County residents are seeing on Massanutten Mountain.  She told me that one of them was near the US 211 gap, and that one is in addition to the one Mary and I saw yesterday afternoon north of Kennedy Peak.

So far the only "official" news I have is from WHSV morning news today. If you head to their site and get the 11/15 morning rush news, speed ahead to about 3:26 and there is a report on both fires.

For the first, they reported about 1 acre burning on Page Valley Road, but did not give a status.

The second was reported as starting about 12:30 Sunday.  While no status was given on whether it was under control this morning, helicopters and fire fighters had been called in to fight it.

More to follow...thanks everyone for tips on this!

Change o' Season

We are about two months into the fall season at this point, and I'd say our leaf canopy is about 75 to 80 percent down.  There are still rustling oaks out in the front yard, and there are even some bright golden patches left on the nut trees that are deeper back in the woods.  One highlight of this time of year are these shrubs, which are the last to change - they really put on a show for us.

One thing that we look forward to every year, as we get to this stage of autumn, is the opening of our sight lines into the hollow across the way.  We can see and hear a stretch of Beaver Run and it will stay that way now until spring.  Off in the distance is Tanners Ridge.  (This where we had the beaver pond a couple of years ago, if you're interested, just click on the label to read more about that...)

From the brick terrace, I can hear and sometimes see the small herd we have crossing through the hollow, uphill from the stream.  They probably come back down to the stream about a half mile away, deeper in the woods.  They are shy this time of year, and the reports that echo through the hills tell you why - it's hunting season now through the end of the month.

Just about time to have the yard cleaned up.  We are working on getting an appointment for this - probably the week after Thanksgiving, to give the rest of the leaves time to drop.

On a final note, as Mary and I were driving into Luray for some errands Sunday, I saw a wisp of smoke on Massanutten a mile or two north of Kennedy Peak.  This would be between 12 and 15 miles north of Lokey Hollow, the fire I was posting on a few weeks back.  I'll track this one and put some posts up as I find news - it didn't look very big just yet, as we were seeing it in the early afternoon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Bench, In George Nelson Style

You ask about the bench?

At last, during the summer, we added the iconic slat bench to the entry way of Hawksbill Cabin.   It complements some of the other midcentury-styled pieces, which you can check out by clicking on the blog's "Midcentury Modern Furnishings" label at the end of this post.

We also have a Vassily chair, that Wirkala light fixture in the bedroom, and some bar chairs to complement our new bench.  Not to mention the little house itself, which was built in the late 1940's with an addition in the late 1950's.

The bench was originally designed by George Nelson, one of America's foremost modern designers, a compatriot of the Eameses.  The Wikipedia article on Nelson includes the following quote:

"Most people think that George Nelson, Charles Eames and Eliot Noyes invented industrial design. That is, of course, an exaggeration. George did it without any assistance from the other two." -- Bill N. Lacy, FAIA

So maybe, buying this bench so I can sit down and put my shoes on by the door makes me some kind of design snob.  You are entitled to your opinions, but I'll clarify that I found this on eBay - I didn't get it from Herman Miller or Design out of Reach, this time.

It does look good in this spot though, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lynchburg's Monument Terrace

For my final post about our road trip to Lynchburg last weekend, I wanted to post about Monument Terrace, which serves as a memorial to veterans of past conflicts.

The memorial has been built into one of the many bluffs that are the hallmark of this city. At each terrace there is a place to stop and reflect on those who served.  I have photos here for Vietnam, WWII and WW1; there is also one for Korea.  And soon enough, Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm sure.

As I happened upon this memorial, I considered its timeliness for the week of Veterans Day and was glad I'd have such an appropriate note to close this series with.

Thanks again veterans.  We appreciate your service.

Veterans Day and the if-clause

It's a day to honor those who are serving in America's military forces, and to thank those who have served. 

I read an op-ed by Patrick Logan in today's Washington Post and wanted to share a few thoughts from his article.  He refers to a letter his father wrote home from Italy during WWII:  "Someday I expect to come home and fulfill a lot of plans I've made and live the way I want to."  His father made it home, and he was able to carry through on this wish.

Logan calls this the "if-clause" - the unspoken and unwritten thought that accompanies this phrase.  "[If I make it through this] Someday..."  For those, unlike Logan's father, who don't come back to fulfill those plans and dreams, today is a day to remember them, to try and feel their sacrifice. 

His article goes on:

...I thought of the if-clause last month last month when reading the announcement that four soldiers had been killed while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan:

Cpl. Justin J. Cain, 22, of Manitowoc, WI
Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge, 19, of Saint Charles, MO
Lance Cpl. Joseph E. Rodewald, 21, of Albany, OR
Pfc. Victor A. Dew, 20, of Granite Bay, CA


As Logan says, we must remember their sacrifice, their service, and their dreams that have ended.

And to my friends and loved ones who answered the call, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your service.  It's no exaggeration to say that you are part of what makes our country great.  I look forward to being there with you when your dreams are fulfilled. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lynchburg...Next Project

From the lobby of the Craddock-Terry, it was hard to miss the fact that something was going on in the old mill next door.  Later on our hosts confirmed that the mill is going through a renovation to become apartments, and that they had arranged a site visit for Sunday afternoon.

This development is rushed a little bit - the developer was forced movement on the project because of the condition of the building.  It's not an economy that you would rush into residential development like this, except that the fire risks with this place were extreme and even threatened the nearby structures, if one were to start.

I took a load of photos in that old dusty space inside, but will reserve most of them, choosing only a few highlights.  Like the old shoe factory and tobacco warehouse, where the hotel is now located, the building is totally timber framed.  There is termite damage in evidence, but since the live loads here aren't what they used to be when the mill was active (as late as the 1960's, I understand), what you have is a lot of redundant load capacity in the framing so some of it can probably come down during demo, as opposed to extensively repairing or replacing it.

I'm not the biggest fan of round steps, but this entryway into the mill is interesting since an old millstone was incorporated as the top step.  I'm sure some element of this fixture will be saved in the final, but I doubt it will stand as a main doorway into the building.

It was interesting to walk through the place - ghostly images from the sharp angled light of unglazed windows, dust clouds coming up with the passage of all us tourists, and most impressively, views of machinery for a production system from the industrial age - set us up for an adventure of the imagination...not only of what kind of living spaces this building will include, but of the lifestyle, noise and constant danger of all these machines at work with people crowded into the space too closely.

As I understand it, while we did not go down into the substructure, there is an old canal under the building that probably was used to bring water into the production facilities - the river is quite nearby, probably less than 500 feet away.  There are also old tunnels and culverts that we used with conveying systems to the railroad tracks.  There are right-of-ways for CSX and Norfolk Southern that run along the river next to the mill, and an old siding next to the mill that probably served to load out finished goods.

A set of silos is also nearby, on the side of the mill opposite the tracks, you can see it in the photo of the siding.  It doesn't seem an optimal layout, but since it is further uphill, it may have been placed there for flood plain purposes.  These are planned for a future renovation, when they will be repurposed into apartments also.  We saw some preliminary plans for this development - some of the spaces have the potential to be quite grand, with 18 foot diameter rooms and sweeping views of the river. 

A final note on the silos, this inventory/schedule board is still standing in the old mill.  There are still production notes on it - maybe 50 years later, since the mill ceased operation!

Here is a view of the penthouse space at the top of the mill building.  My sense of it is this will be a great apartment someday.
The last photo I will share from the mill is this one of the "man lift" - this is a single person elevator!  It runs on a conveyor belt system.  There was a little platform to stand on, with handholds above the head to cling to...you had to be trained to use it, and I imagine that there were a few injuries associated with its use over the years.  The warning sign here isn't something you can just blow off either.  I think I would have to use the stairs, myself.
I have one last Lynchburg post that I'm saving for tomorrow, then we will get back to Page County and Hawksbill Cabin material.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lynchburg - Town Views

On Sunday morning, I had about an hour’s worth of time on my hands so I decided to take a walk around the town of Lynchburg. It’s a pretty place, set on a series of cascading bluffs that roll right down to the James River. The river itself is the key to the city’s success – the place is named for John Lynch, who ran the first ferry across the river here.

A Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynchburg,_Virginia  includes all the facts you’d want to know about the place - it's had quite a history as a center of commerce and industry. There is a lot to tell, besides the fact that this is the home of Liberty University and “Jerry Falwell World.“ In fact, that association alone was enough to keep me from ever wanting to come here, even though I’ve driven through on US 29 a few times and thought the place was beautiful.

So on my walk, I was giving the town a chance to grow on me, in a way. I liked what I saw, and what I was hearing about the downtown community and their initiatives to make the city a great place to live. There is no choice but to have something of a symbiotic relationship with the big school in the suburbs, but for the most part, that community seems to keep to itself. There are quite a few other great colleges and universities that call themselves home here, too – and those communities are often part of downtown events and commerce.

Among the photos I collected, there is a shot of the Allied Arts building downtown, an art deco tower built in 1931; an interesting elevator that was designed as a solution to getting down the bluffs from the upper town to downtown (there are staircases all over the place); the farmers’ market; and a view down to the river, where the fountain here is set on one of the piers of an old bridge. The fountain draws your eye to the river, parks, and other cultural attractions located in that part of town.

With just an hour, I didn’t have time to get into any of the historic neighborhoods – Lynchburg was a prosperous town in the mid-1800’s but escaped burning during the Civil War – there are several neighborhoods of historic homes that have been restored and are well-kept. Mary’s told me she’d be interested in a return visit to check the place out sometime…I guess I’m up for that too.

Lynchburg - The Hotel Renovation Story, Continued

In the post yesterday, I mentioned some historic aspects of the Craddock-Terry hotel that make for an excellent story, and that's a big part of what makes it a success when it comes to being a well-liked boutique hotel.  I'll start today's post with another view of the main building, which was renovated after sitting empty for more than 20 years - this is the building that was the Craddock-Terry shoe factory.

The hotel complex includes a second building, which housed a tobacco warehouse owned by the King company.  This building was renovated to include hotel rooms, meeting spaces (on Saturday, there was a wedding, then our group used the spaces for seminar sessions on Sunday), a fine dining restaurant, and a pizza/brew pub.  It is connected to the main building by a plaza and the accessible bridge walkway shown in the picture above.

The brew pub was hopping the whole time we were visiting, and the restaurant had a full seating on Saturday night.  The hotel was fully booked also, in part because of the wedding and also because of the 10+ rooms our group had taken.  So it's safe to say this was a successful project.

We learned about the value of the good story, and the community partnerships - these were two themes of the visit, in fact.  One point of interest is the red shoe motif in the signage that decorates the exterior of the hotel.  It turns out that the red shoe has a story of its own within the larger history of the Craddock-Terry company.

Sometime in the mid '70's, the fashion advertisements for one of the shoe brands started featuring red shoes on the models.  These three prints, that decorate the hallways of the tobacco warehouse building, were made from the old ads.  The originals, it turns out, were found in one of the investor's attics.  That persons mother had been a graphic artist involved in developing the original illustrations, and the artwork was stored with some other old keepsakes.  The hotel renovation became a cause to bring them back to light, and here they have made there way to being a feature of the place.

One final note on the story that weaves its way throughout this hotel experience.  Each room's door features a piece of artwork modeled on one of the shoes that might have been manufactured at the old factory.  I've featured room 403 - to my knowledge, none of the people traveling with us stayed here.  But the odd-numbered rooms are the king rooms, that much I do know. 

There are still some expansion plans to note - a new building with more hotel rooms is planned for the area the first photograph was taken from.  It will connect to the main building with an accessible bridge as well.  A rocky bluff - one of Lynchburg's motifs - runs through the block, in fact the main building sits atop it.  They want to put in a water feature here to complete the complex.

I still have some additional posts to make about Lynchburg, and those will be coming along for the next couple of days.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lynchburg - More on the Craddock-Terry

Bear with me.  I have a couple of posts still to come about the visit to Lynchburg over the weekend.  This morning, a few more interior shots of the main hotel building...this afternoon, a little post about the adjoining building, which houses some restaurants and meeting spaces, as well as additional hotel rooms. 

Tomorrow, I will post some photos of the downtown area, and Wednesday, photos of a new renovation/repurposing of an industrial building that is underway near the hotel.  We'll get back to my beloved Page County topics shortly!

This concept of reuse, repurposing, renovating historic buildings is very exciting.  The students we were traveling with called the Craddock-Terry hotel a "dream project" - the "project of a lifetime" - and it is hard to underestimate how rewarding it might be to get involved in something like this.  And for the developer, who is related to the Craddocks, the family who the shoe company was named for (I found this link but haven't explored it yet:  http://www.vahistorical.org/publications/historycorner_craddock.htm.), the project had to be even more exciting.

(Full disclosure, the involvement of the name Craddock made this visit special for me, too - it's my mother's and aunt's maiden name.)

So touring the building, checking out the wonderful timber framing and considering the fact that they could still be structurally sound nearly 100 years later was fascinating.  They've put together a wonderful boutique lodging experience, all shoe-themed, given the heritage of the main building as an old shoe factory.

Here are interior views of some of the large beams in the lobby area - the factory was closed for 20 years or more before the renovation project began, and the steel plating here is either a reinforcement or a patch that had to be made due to termite damage.  In the reinforcements, there is not joint visible in the members, while the patches involved salvaging excess beams (the loads on the frame are much less with a hotel than with a factory use) and replacing severly damaged areas with them.

Also, two views of interior hallways, one below grade, showing the stone foundation walls, and the second, a higher floor, where the timber columns are visible.  I did not take any photos inside the rooms, but they were very nice, large, and nothing like the cookie-cutter experience you have in the larger chains.  I'll leave you to the website to explore those, if you like.

Next post will include a photo of the King Tobacco Warehouse that was restored next door, and some photos of art work on the interior hallways.