The major aspects of the Taylor Hotel Project have been completed! To celebrate, the city of Winchester’s Economic Development Authority will be having a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 15th at 4pm. Join us as the project, including the new Taylor Pavilion, are officially introduced to the public.
“This ribbon marks the completion of the major aspects of the project,” the EDA states. “The main building known as the Taylor Hotel now holds five apartments and a two-level restaurant space. The rear building known as the Fly Tower houses two luxury studio apartments and a commercial space. The area between the buildings known as the Taylor Pavilion, has been turned into a pocket park and outdoor event venue owned by the City of Winchester and managed by the Taylor Pavilion, LLC.”
The Taylor Hotel has significant historic ties to Old Town Winchester and was built over a decade before the Civil War. Read up on the history of the historic building in this note from the Economic Development Authority’s press release:
Bushrod Taylor built and opened his large hotel in 1848. Located downtown on the Valley Pike (modern US 11), the hotel served travelers and was a base for mail and passenger stagecoaches from at least 1850. General “Stonewall” Jackson used the building as his first headquarters in the fall of 1861 while commander of the Valley District. Following the First Battle of Kernstown in March, 1862 and the Third Battle of Winchester in September of 1864, the hotel was one of many buildings crowded with wounded. A fixture of Winchester’s downtown through much of the twentieth century, as a theater, department store, and telecom center, the building has been vacant since 2004, and its condition has deteriorated, especially after a partial roof collapse in 2007.
In 2010 the City Council condemned the property as blighted and unsafe. Then as the City Council moved to condemn the building, there was significant citizen participation and discussion of the merits of demolition versus renovation and the best design and use of the future project. After the declaration of blight, the City Department of Economic Redevelopment began working on a plan to save the original historic hotel, raze the dilapidated additions and create a public pocket park in their place.
In 2011, the Winchester Economic Development Authority purchased the blighted Taylor Hotel with the intent to return the building into a successful and contributing member of the Loudoun Street Mall. After the middle portion of the building collapsed in October 2007, renovating the historic structure proved to be a challenge. But after many years of waiting, the people of Winchester can now enjoy this once again vibrant and significant piece of Winchester history. Through the use of historic tax credits, federal and state grants and private investment, the City’s Economic Development Authority began the restoration efforts in the fall of 2012.