Hotel King Edward - Hilton Garden Inn, Jackson MS

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by dotorg, May 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dotorg
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    dotorg Silver Member

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    This week, I've had the pleasure of staying at the Hilton Garden Inn located in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. It is a newly renovated historic property in the former Hotel King Edward building.

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    King Edward Lobby by marklyon, on Flickr

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    Lobby columns by marklyon, on Flickr

    I went to college and law school in Jackson and have always had a fascination with this property. The original hotel was built in 1861 and destroyed in the Civil War. It was rebuilt and became an incredibly popular location, particularly for state legislators. So popular, in fact, that it was decided the property could not go without being open during the legislative session. Renovation plans in 1923 called for the entire building to be scrapped and re-built before 1924. The 12-story, 300-room building was not only completed on time, it was built like a tank, which is why, I think, it is still standing today. In 1954, a poorly planned renovation and modernization project failed to completely destroy the building's charm, but quickly drove the property into the ground. It closed in 1967.

    Many attempts were made to demolish it over the years. The building, however, was not going to accept such a fate. Its concrete and steel construction was - as a demolition engineer friend once told me - seriously overbuilt, almost as if they had planned to make it twice or three times the actual size.

    While renovation attempts had been started over the years, Hurricane Katrina and various revitalization grant programs made restoring the building possible. Renovations were completed in 2009 and it now offers 186 guest rooms and 64 apartments, plus some wonderful event space.

    I booked four nights for $62/night via Priceline.

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    Third floor by marklyon, on Flickr

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    Hotel King Edward - Room 404 by marklyon, on Flickr

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    Hotel King Edward - Room 404 by marklyon, on Flickr

    Full photo sets are available on Flickr: August 28, 2006, October 12, 2006, and May 24, 2011.

    Overall the stay has been wonderful. I'm a bit disappointed that I was so busy and didn't have much of a chance to replicate some of the same shots from my earlier trips to the building, but loved getting an opportunity to stay here. The hotel isn't in the best part of town, though, and the parking situation (including a lack of spaces and an undisclosed $14/day fee) isn't ideal in a place where parking shouldn't be a hassle.

    The hard work that went into the renovation really shows, though I wish it had been possible to maintain some of the same details on the guest room floors. There, the renovation seems to have leaned toward "make it fit" and "any hotel in America". This creates some interesting design decisions. The partition walls between the rooms were a true nightmare to demolish, so they knocked out existing openings but didn't take them down completely.

    My room, 404, joins two of the older rooms, making one partially my bathroom. They left a truly odd blind hallway, though, to not block the window (or put the window in the bathroom) and didn't decorate properly. It would make an ideal location for the desk, but instead we just dropped our suitcase there.

    Overall, though, I am very impressed with the work and excited to see this property respectfully refurbished to its former glory.
     

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