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January 12, 2021

The Henry Uptown

The only certainty about historic restoration projects is that it will be filled with uncertainty. The transformation of the Henry Hotel to "The Henry Uptown Lofts" in Martinsville, Virginia would be not be an exception to this rule. The development of the Henry Hotel began c. 1919 with the formation of a company by J.E. Howard and A.D. Whittington. Actually constructed in 1921, the Henry Hotel was designed to offer the city of Martinsville a modern hotel capable of accommodating the city's significant growth in population and economic activity. The Hotel, with its convenient location, spacious lobby, and elegant dining room served as the host to visiting politicians and businessmen as well as the local citizens. After surviving the hardships of the depression, the hotel fell on hard times in the mid-20th century as travel and social customs changed. With the coming of the interstate and the introduction of motels, the hotel lost much of its clientele. After converting part of the lobby along Church Street to commercial retail space and converting the dining room into offices, the hotel closed in 1967. In 2014, the Waukeshau Development Group along with builder, Haase Inc., saw the potential to bring this historically rich building back to life as 3 stories of beautiful loft apartments and a first floor filled with shops and businesses. But it wouldn't be an easy task – and Blackstone was eager to join the team. The original hotel was equipped with a sprinkler system that was both inundated and unfit to meet the new modernized apartment design. A majority of the sprinkler system had to be removed and Blackstone assisted the general contractor in creating a design that would be code compliant for its new use and aesthetically pleasing for the new tenants. In August of 2015, after less than a year of actual construction, the ribbon was cut by the mayor of Martinsville and move in began. Blackstone was proud to be a part of such a challenging and worthwhile project.


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