The 1847 Taylor Hotel in Winchester, Va., is regaining its gracious three-story columned porch as part of an extensive restoration project by the Winchester Economic Development Authority (WEDA).
The red brick building with its iconic white porch was the social center of the city before and after the Civil War and the headquarters of various generals during the war. Sometime in the 1900s, the porch was removed when McGory’s five and dime chain owned the building.
In the 2000s, the building was left vacant as various developers tried to raise money to renovate it for apartments or offices. By 2010, the building had greatly deteriorated and a section had fallen in during a heavy snowstorm. The city government threatened to demolish it and Preservation Virginia listed the hotel on its 2010 most endangered list.
Preservationists rallied, and WEDA eventually purchased it. Plans call for the front façade to be restored and a restaurant, pub and five two-bedroom apartments to be carved out of the interior.
Construction workers have finished the first two stories of the porch, and the expectation is that the third story will be done soon. Then a new roof will be put in place. City officials said the project is being completed on time and tenants are expected to move in beginning Jan. 1, 2014.