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Liberty Trust Hotel: Bar Lounge. Photography: Jumping Rocks Photography

The award celebrates outstanding achievement in traditional design and Glavé & Holmes was one of just 15 Palladio Award winners nationwide.

“We’re thrilled to be honored with a 2023 Palladio Award for the interior design of The Liberty Trust Hotel,” said Jessica Ritter, CID, IIDA, LEED AP, Principal and Director of Interior Design at Glavé & Holmes. “This award is so meaningful because it recognizes both the thoughtful preservation of historic features and the incredible transformation of this remarkable building.”

The Liberty Trust Hotel opened in May 2022 and was lauded by Forbes as one of the most highly anticipated hotel openings in 2022. Located in downtown Roanoke, The Liberty Trust Hotel’s historic building is among the most iconic structures in the Star City of the South. It first opened in 1910 as a bank and is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic Landmark.

Reimagined as a boutique hotel, the building boasts a number of unique details and architectural features that allow The Liberty Trust Hotel to offer guests the best of contemporary hospitality. For example, a high-end wine tasting room is housed in the bank’s former vault, and the soaring lobby is now a gathering place for travelers and visitors to enjoy food and beverages in a unique environment. Each guest room boasts stunning historic copper clad doors paired with modern amenities. The entire historic building – seven stories – was beautifully and meticulously renovated into 54 rooms and common spaces.

The lobby of the Liberty Trust Hotel

The Liberty Trust Hotel has already become a destination itself and highlights the broader hospitality renaissance happening in Roanoke. Character-defining features and finishes preserved include marble floors and trim, decorative plaster ceilings, teller counters, bank vault, and the copper-faced doors and trim on upper floors. Minor modifications were made to accommodate current building code requirements and the operations of a modern hotel.

Ritter and her team at Glavé & Holmes worked closely with the hotel’s ownership team at Savara Hospitality. One of the primary project considerations was to renovate the building to be a functional boutique hotel but maintain as much of the historic fabric as possible. These efforts included restoring existing copper clad doors and trim and original marble flooring. Where minor modifications to the floor plan were required, the design team left the exposed concrete to show the evolution of the building rather than replacing or covering with new flooring materials. 

“Collaborating with the team at Savara Hospitality was a highlight of this project,” added Ritter. “We shared a deep respect and passion for this historic structure and its immense potential. The result is truly one of the most unique and inspiring boutique hotel experiences in the country.”

Classic King Room at the Liberty Trust Hotel

The Glavé & Holmes team also was recognized for creative design solutions that addressed unique challenges posed by a historic structure. Specific preservation challenges included sensitively reconfiguring original and modified corridors and offices to accommodate hotel rooms, and creating built-in furnishings in guest rooms which enabled Savara to make the most of available historic tax credits. In addition, the design team was able to integrate historic teller counters into a stunning new lobby bar. For over 20 years, the Palladio Awards have recognized both individual designers and design teams whose work enhances the beauty and humane qualities of the built environment. The award program was founded and managed by Traditional Building magazine and has become one of the preeminent design and architecture awards in the country. An esteemed jury of design practitioners and architecture critics reviewed over 175 entries to select the top projects in 15 categories.   

Congratulations to all of the award winners! Learn more about the 2023 Palladio Award from Traditional Building Magazine here.

Read more about our insights on this unique project here.