Two Asheville hotels awarded Adaptive Reuse honors

Press release from blue hominy public relations:

The Radical and Zelda Dearest, Asheville, North Carolina hotels owned by commercial real estate development firm Hatteras Sky and and capital partner Somera Capital East and operated by Lark Hotels, have each been awarded a 2024 Griffin Award from the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County (PSABC) in the Adaptive Reuse category. The prestigious award program recognizes outstanding local projects and individuals that further the goals of historic preservation in Asheville and Buncombe County.

The Radical is a boutique hotel and living art installation that debuted in October 2023 in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District. The contemporary hotel breathes new life into a historic building while preserving beautiful evidence of its past lives — from a 1920s breakfast cereal factory to a graffiti artists’ vacant paradise.

The previously vacant building was covered in wall-to-wall graffiti, and instead of erasing it, the owners adopted the artwork as design inspiration, incorporating the concept into the hotel. To honor the history of the building and reflect the surrounding River Art District community, The Radical team engaged veteran local artist Ian Wilkinson to foster the tradition of graffiti in the building and curate what is now a world-class collection of art. The hotel features over 200 unique and original works of art, and Wilkinson and a team of talented artists – from Asheville and beyond – designed and painted murals in each guest room plus large-scale immersive works featured throughout the hotel’s common areas.

The artwork throughout melds with rebel luxe interiors by Suomi Design Works. The hotel’s richly layered design effortlessly fuses with towering raw concrete pillars, exposed brick walls and original street art, including work from decades past as well as modern pieces.

Also debuted in October 2023, Zelda Dearest is a 20-room boutique hotel spread throughout three thoughtfully restored turn-of-the-century mansions on Biltmore Avenue in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood. The property, developed under a license with the estate of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, pulls inspiration from Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald’s romantic perspectives and artistic character.

Honoring the architectural integrity of these historic buildings while breathing new life into each space, Hatteras Sky worked alongside Nashville-based design firm, Anderson Design Studio, to give each room an enchanting personality of its own, much like the hotel’s namesake. Key historic elements that were kept or restored in the renovation process included full reconstruction of slate roofs, front porches and round turret on the Marjorie house to match historic photos of the original build. Windows were repaired and custom reconstructed. Zelda Dearest embraces the essence of dramatic and spontaneous debutante, Zelda Sayre, who was known to many as a fiercely talented artist, novelist, poet, dancer and a terribly intoxicating delight.

Highly celebrated in its first year, Zelda Dearest was recently named one of five finalists in the HD Awards, a prestigious, international honor from the esteemed hotel publication, Hospitality Design Magazine. This month, Zelda Dearest introduced an intimate parlor bar, Wine & Roses, where guests and locals can come together over craft cocktails, wine, and beer in a warm and inviting space.

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