Project Summary
Hotel Forty Five

Restoring a Piece of Art-Deco History

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The Space
  • Michael L. Starr Award, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Build Georgia Award, First Place, Associated General Contractors of Georgia
Square Footage 72,000
Location Macon, GA
Originally erected in 1920 and later expanded in 1941, the Willie C. Hill Annex building, now named Hotel Forty Five, undergoes a historic renovation to bring the building back to its Art-Deco glory. After its expansion, the “golden brick high-rise” was considered the tallest building between New York and Miami after the Great Depression. The since-abandoned, 11-story structure is refreshed and converted into a Tribute Collection hotel under the Marriott flag as a unique adaptive reuse project.

Restructuring While Maintaining Key Components

To maintain the history and nostalgic feel of the structure, key features including the original bank vault, terrazzo floors, and marble components throughout the building are preserved.

As the structure was built on a hill and designed to integrate with its surrounding landscape, multiple levels and sections were originally constructed independent from one another. The project team needed to strategize a plan that would allow these areas to connect for the hotel to be as welcoming as it is stylish. In order for the kitchen to connect to the service and receiving areas, two structures built two decades apart needed to be connected. Once the 1920s building and 1940s building were joined at the first floor, the team installed a new elevator to provide housekeeping a way to access the receiving area from the above floors.

Other ramps and stairs were retrofitted for ADA compliance and accessibility to new amenity spaces.

Revamped and Revitalized for Guests of Downtown Macon

The renovation includes the addition of 94 guest rooms, a penthouse, rooftop bar, fitness center, restaurant, and event and meeting space. An additional restaurant and bar are constructed right off the lobby on the first floor, complete with outdoor seating close to Government Center. Exterior windows are removed and salvaged from the building before reinstallation, and revitalized hardscapes and landscapes enhance the surrounding area.

Customized millwork adorns the restaurants and bars, and modernized fixtures bring the historic building into the 21st century.


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