Hotel John Marshall

Winner of Project of the Year, Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate Awards

Winner of Engineering News Record Mid-Atlantic Best Projects Award – Best Renovation/Restoration

Winner of Building Design + Construction Magazine Reconstruction Awards Silver Honors, Safety Category

The grand and historic Hotel John Marshall, located in the center of downtown Richmond, Virginia, was initially constructed in 1928. At the height of its popularity, celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Mary Tyler Moore, and Elizabeth Taylor along with political figures such as Winston Churchill and Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter were frequent guests, staying in the lavish rooms and celebrating in the prestigious event space. At the time, The Virginia Room was one of the largest ballrooms in Richmond and could accommodate up to 1,200 people.

Throughout the years, many additions and renovations have been made to the hotel.

After years of neglect and water damage, the 16-story, 310,537-SF complex received a complete overhaul, which restored Hotel John Marshall to its original splendor with all the modern conveniences of the 21st century. The hotel is converted into a mixed-use property which includes residential units, meeting and conference spaces, retail, and restaurants.

Highlights include:
• Upper floors were gutted and converted into 238 state-of-the-art apartments.

• Apartment units have low energy appliances, granite countertops, and variable flow refrigerant heating and cooling systems.

• The main lobby was restored to its original layout as designed by Marcellus Wright, the initial architect. Over the course of its history, the lobby had undergone many renovations, including the addition of a mezzanine which divided the lofted entry vertically to add another floor of rooms. Extensive controlled demolition and structural rework returned it to the original look and feel of the soaring lobby.

• Three of the original five Virginia Room chandeliers that were auctioned off in 1988 were re-acquired and once again adorn the Virginia Room. Each 600 pound chandelier required two years of intensive refurbishment, including soaking the brass in muriatic acid, then hand polishing and restringing 18,000 individual crystal beads.

• Custom windows and storefronts replicate the historical look while meeting current, stringent energy requirements.

• As part of the renovation, Choate built 34 new seven-foot-tall aluminum letters for the “Hotel John Marshall” sign on the rooftop steel tower, incorporating LED lights in lieu of the incandescent bulbs to exactly match the size and structure of the original letters. Power consumption for illumination was reduced by 70%.