The historic Hotel John Marshall in Richmond, Va., was designed in 1928 by local architect Marcellus Wright and opened October 30, 1929, the day after the stock market crash that signaled the start of the Great Depression. Despite the bankruptcy that soon followed, the hotel managed to survive for another six decades, until it closed in 1988.
In 2007 Virginia Atlantic Development and Dominion Realty Partners formed John Marshall Building LLC to redevelop the vacant property. Starting in April 2010, the Building Team of Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, Stanley D. Lindsey & Associates, Leppard Johnson & Associates, and Choate Interior Construction restored the 16-story, 310,537-sf building into the Residences at the John Marshall, a new mixed-use facility offering apartments, street-level retail, a catering kitchen, and two restored ballrooms.
Special attention was given to restoring the building’s historical elements. In the grand Virginia Room, three of the original ballroom chandeliers, weighing 600 pounds each, underwent two years of intensive restoration, including hand polishing and restringing 18,000 individual crystal beads.
RESIDENCES AT THE JOHN MARSHALL
Submitting firm: Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio (architect)
Owner/developer: Dominion Realty Partners
Structural engineer: Stanley D. Lindsey & Associates
MEP engineer: Leppard Johnson & Associates
General contractor: Choate Interior Construction
Size: 310,537 gsf
Construction cost: $39 million
Construction period: April 2010 to June 2012
Delivery method: Cost-plus
The Building Team worked with specialty exterior restoration engineer Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates and the local historic society to restore the limestone façade, the supports of which had deteriorated over the years. Every limestone panel was reanchored with stainless steel fittings bolted into the building and then patched. Terra cotta details at the top of the building were also restored, or in some cases recreated with glass-fiber-reinforced concrete to match the original. “The restoration of the façade was notable, when you consider they had to reattach every piece,” said Reconstruction Awards Judge Daniel Moser, SE, PE.
For its sustainability efforts, the Residences at John Marshall earned three out of four Green Globes through the Green Building Initiative.
The Hotel John Marshall reopened this past summer with 77% of its commercial space leased and more than 85 events booked prior to occupancy. As of early August, 202 of the 238 apartments were leased. “That’s a very good real estate story,” said Judge Martha Bell, FAIA. +
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