We have a new project on the boards and it’s smoking hot.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is the newest addition to the Kimpton family, with a project slated to open in early 2016. And it’s set in one of the city’s most iconic structures, the R.J. Reynolds Building. Opened in 1929, this Art Deco gem was built by Shreve & Lamb, the architects who two years later would essentially re-create the building — except five times bigger — in New York City as the Empire State Building. (In fact, it’s reported that every Father’s Day, the staff at the 103-floor Empire State Building sends a card to the staff of the 21-story Reynolds Building).
With its gilded metal grillwork, ornate murals and exotic woods, the Reynolds Building was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was until 2009 home of the giant tobacco company that gives the tower its name. But the mixed-use concept — which will include the hotel and restaurant on the first six floors with luxury rental units above — is nothing new for this building. Over the years it’s been home to everything from barbershops to law firms.
Once complete, the 174-room hotel — developed in partnership with PMC Property Group — will also be Winston-Salem’s first luxury boutique hotel. And for North Carolina’s fourth largest city (population 234,349), the timing couldn’t be better. Known for its textile and tobacco industries, not to mention being home to the first Krispy Kreme doughnut shop and the late, great Renaissance woman Maya Angelou, the Twin City (as the city is nicknamed) has in recent years taken on a different persona. Along with the prestigious Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Winston Salem State University, local companies such as Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and a slew of museums, arts organizations and festivals, it’s also become known as “The City of Arts and Innovation.”
Add in the area’s famous cuisine and a fascinating history (Salem dates its founding back to 1753), and you have the ingredients for a rich, engaging travel experience.