The John Marshall Hotel opened in downtown Richmond in 1929. And for decades it was one of Richmond’s grand hotels. Political campaigns were launched here. And, such notable Richmond visitors as Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Mary Tyler Moore and Elizabeth Taylor have been guests there.
Time took its toll on the John Marshall, and while various attempts were made to restore the property, the small rooms and outdated plumbing didn’t make it a candidate to be a successful modern hotel.
I stayed at the John Marshall when I attended the Model General Assembly back in 1976. I’m sure that it was showing its age even then. But I was a country boy from the hills of Southwest, Virginia. What did I know? To me it was a grand experience.
Nearly ten years later, I worked for a campaign (sadly unsuccessful) that launched from the John Marshall with a fundraising breakfast. And when I moved back here in the early 90s, I still got my haircut at the John Marshall barber shop.
So today’s news in the Richmond Times-Dispatch was most welcome.
New Chapter awaits the John Marshall
The John Marshall hotel will reopen this fall as the Residences at the John Marshall — a 16-story apartment building with retail at the ground level.
Once again The Virginia Room will be available for events. The ballroom and catering will be managed by Suzanne Wolstenholme of Homemades by Suzanne. Several weddings are already booked for the fall.
This is a welcomed addition, or return, to downtown Richmond. It’s grand to see these old buildings such as Thalheimer’s and now the John Marshall repurposed for use.
It’s the best kind of recycling.
Cross posted at Bearing Drift.