History Of The Restoration Buildings In Downtown Charleston
Since opening its doors as The Restoration in April 2010, this luxury boutique hotel has been the talk of the town and the preferred place to stay by knowledgeable travelers. Rich with history, Charleston's first boutique hotel has been flooded with positive reviews, worldwide media attention, and an AAA Four-Diamond rating in 2011 that has been easily maintained.
The “Pink Building” On King Street
The property itself consists of five separate buildings, four of which are recognizable from the street. The “Pink Building” (273 King Street, or the Lucky Brand Jeans Building) on the corner of King and Wentworth dates back to 1940. This was originally a restaurant and pub on the ground floor, with office space on the second floor, and apartments on the third floor. It also had a Cupola on the roof at the corner of the building. The entrance to the 2nd and 3rd floors was on Wentworth Street, at 73 ½ Wentworth. In 1963, the date we were provided as the age of the hotel, is actually when the addition of the two story part of the building leading along Wentworth St. was added to the building. The first recorded building in this location was 1822, which was sold in 1839 and taken down to make room for the existing building.
The “GAP” Building
The second building, which is today the GAP building (269 King Street), dates back to 1910. This was originally a two story department store with storage and office space on the third floor. It was part of the Dillard’s family, but was named after his wife’s maiden name instead. The back stairwell leading to King Street and The Restoration Rooftop Terrace was their cargo elevator. When it became a single story retail space, the second floor was converted to storage and office space and the third floor became apartments. Today, four suites have their bedrooms and bathrooms in the GAP building, but those suite’s living room and kitchen are in the Lucky Brand Jeans building.
Wentworth Row House
The third building, 73 Wentworth, was built in 1886 and has served as The Restoration’s hotel lobby when it opened in 2011 until the Fall of 2015. Originally a traditional elevated Charleston Row House; the first floor had an elevated floor and was essentially the home owner’s storage space. The entrance to their home was through the exterior breezeway, which is where their front door entrance was. You are still able to see where the stairs were. As retail space became more valuable and flooding in Charleston improved, they finished off the first floor and converted it to retail space, last used as a record store, and will again re-open as a retail store in early 2016, as The Port Mercantile Store. The main home on the second floor was used as someone’s home and then this area was converted to apartments as well and is currently a Two Story Suite with Two Bedrooms.
Telephone & Telegraph Building on Wentworth
The fourth building was added to The Restoration Hotel in 2015, 77 Wentworth, which was originally built in 1907. This building was built as a Telephone & Telegraph building and featured an open space which stretched from the 1st floor up to the third floor. It last life as a Telephone & Telegraph building was with Bell South. Following this the first floor was most recently utilized as a restaurant space with the 2nd floor being converted to two, 1,600 sq. ft. two bedroom suites with balconies. The third floor was converted to office space and a 2,500 sq. ft. two bedroom suite. When complete, there will be two three bedroom suites with rooftop balconies on the third floor. The first floor will offer The Rise Coffee Bar featuring Toby’s Estate Coffee, our new Assouline Library and Amethyst Spa and Nail Bar.
Wentworth Street New Hotel, Spa & Restaurant Building
Lastly, the fifth building is set to be completed in late 2015, 79 Wentworth. This new 7th story building will be the tallest, and feature some of the best rooftop views in all of Charleston. The new hotel lobby will be housed on the first floor, 34 new guest rooms will be on the second thru sixth floors, a new rooftop relaxing serenity pool added to the 5th floor, and The Watch Rooftop Restaurant and The Observatory private event space are on the 7th floor.