Ramble On

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Revisiting the Craddock Terry Hotel

Our drive to Charlotte last weekend ended up taking more than 8 hours - although Google Maps had estimated less than 6.  We decided that we'd make a break halfway on the way back with an overnight stop at a favorite landmark, the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg.

A few years ago we visited the hotel with a group of Mary's students and fellow teachers from the University of Maryland.  That weekend included a seminar on adaptive reuse of historic buildings - the Craddock Terry is a good example of that process, and it is one of several in downtown Lynchburg that have been restored and reused.

You can check out the label "Lynchburg" at the end of this post for the photos and posts about that earlier trip.  But to recap, the main building of the hotel, shown in the exterior shot above, was built as a shoe factory.  After years of productive use, the company closed, and the building lapsed into disuse.

Lynchburg went through a process to define a new master plan and sought investment in downtown properties, which attracted new owners to the building.  They also bought the old tobacco warehouse that neighbors it, combining the two into a single boutique hotel with restaurants and conference facilities.

The interior was redesigned to highlight the amazing old structure, including wooden columns, beams, and joists, which you can see in the interior shot here.  There are plenty of additional photos in the earlier Lynchburg photos too.

Also decorating the interior are whimsical nods to the legacy of the factory, including parts of old shoe boxes that have been worked into the art in the lobby and framed illustrations that were the basis of advertising copy.

Then there is the hotel mascot, Buster Brown.  He's named after a line of children's shoes, and he rules the roost down in the lobby.  They tell us he has some favorite seats in the room, and he moves to different ones on a schedule throughout the day.

I have a post or two more to put up about the Lynchburg stop over the next couple of days.

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