How a historic Virginia building became a 49-room hotel

The Blackburn Inn opened in historic Staunton, Va., as part of a partnership between The Blackburn Inn and Retro Hospitality. The locally owned 49-room hotel is housed in a historic, Jeffersonian-style building.

Envisioned by master builder and Thomas Jefferson protégé Thomas Blackburn in 1828 as part of the Western State Hospital, The Blackburn Inn honors the original architecture. Midlothian, Va.-based A Concept 2 Design, the commissioned interior design firm for the project, worked with architect Bruce Shirley of Apex Design to restore the building.

The hotel has a distinctive American look, characterized by original heart pine floors, red brick, whitewashed wood trim, classical moldings, and light-filled hallways. It also has signature structures such as wide corridor hallway arches and vaulted ceilings.


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Blending the historical architecture of the hotel with contemporary elements, the 49 guestrooms and suites include intricate molding that has been in place for two centuries, and bathrooms with glass doors and rain showers.  Three of the premiere-level rooms also have soaking tubs.

Similar to the hotel's regionally-inspired design, Second Draft, the 20-seat bistro and bar has indoor and al fresco dining on the outdoor terrace and columned front porch.

There is also a private alcove in the hallway for intimate wine and cheese tastings; as well as the Library Lounge located adjacent to the front lobby.

Large-scale events can be held on the property's front lawn. The 2,500 square foot Penthouse Loft, located adjacent to the inn, has additional space ideal for hosting events. It also has a gym, private rooftop patio with views of downtown, open kitchen, private elevator access, parking and a washer/dryer.

The Blackburn Inn will work with Staunton Co-Art Gallery and Beverly Street Studio School to feature artwork from both local and regional artists in its third-floor art gallery.

Photo credit: The Blackburn Inn

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