Re-purposing an icon in downtown Gastonia

January 8, 2014 by  

One of Gastonia’s most historic and recognizable buildings is about to begin a new life.

The iconic Lawyers Building, built in 1918, is going to be converted into a small, upmarket hotel by a public/private partnership. The $4 million project will receive incentives from both the county of Gaston and the city of Gastonia and is being spearheaded by developer Nathan Kirby and several partners.

The new hotel is slated to have 31 rooms, a fitness suite, full-service restaurant, a swimming pool and valet parking. It will be conveniently located only a half-block from the city’s new conference center and is anticipated to open in September. A groundbreaking is scheduled for January at which time the hotel’s affiliation with an easily recognizable national brand will be announced.

The Lawyers Building was Gastonia’s first high rise and took four years to complete. The narrow six-story building boasts materials seldom found in new construction, and in some cases no longer available, such as ebony from Africa and Honduran mahogany.

Empty for decades, the building was originally built to house the First National Bank, and was later converted to an office building occupied primarily by lawyers. Like its twin the Commercial Building, also on Main Street, the Lawyers Building is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Many businesses receive a boost from a project such as the Lawyers Building hotel development. A print company, for example, could find a long term client needing menu, brochure, and stationery printing.