Gray's Journal

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Graylyn Teams with Local Firms for New Renovation

 Graylyn, the historic luxury boutique hotel and conference center, continues its commitment to the community by partnering with an experienced local team to design and build a complete renovation of the Manor House’s third floor. The firms involved – CJMW Architecture (Architecture and Interior Design) and Frank L.Blum Construction Company (Construction Manager) – are headquartered in Winston-Salem and have more than 200 years combined experience working in the Triad.

 “It was very important to us to partner with local firms,” said John Wise, Wake Forest University vice president of hospitality services and the executive overseeing Graylyn. “Graylyn has been a part of the Winston-Salem community for almost 90 years and we strongly believe in working with local organizations. The fact that we found experts with longstanding ties to Graylyn is an important aspect of the success of this project.”

Award-winning interior designer Kathleen Warner, a principal of CJMW Architecture, is leading the design team. Kathleen draws on more than 10 years' experience designing boutique hospitality environments. Amanda Adams, an associate architect in the firm, is providing her expertise as one of CJMW’s historic architecture experts.

Designed by well-known local architect Luther Lashmit for Bowman Gray Sr. and his wife Nathalie Lyons Gray, the estate was completed in 1927 and was home to the family in the early 1930s. Lashmit was a key figure in Northup and O’Brien, a Winston-Salem architecture and engineering firm that is the predecessor to selected design firm CJMW Architecture

“We are excited to walk-in the footsteps of our predecessor, Luther Lashmit,” said Warner. “Graylyn is such an amazing place and an important part not only of Winston-Salem’s history, but its future as well. We are honored to be working on this project.”

Blum Construction will serve as the construction manager on the project, and brings over 35 years of constructing similar projects to the Graylyn team.

“Through the years, Graylyn has become a special place to Blum Construction and our families,” said Mike Lancaster, president of Frank L. Blum. “We treasure the memories we have made there and they mean a great deal to us. We are excited to be on the project team for the third floor renovations.” 

The approximately $1 million renovation will completely update all elements of the third floor. All furnishings and finishes in guest rooms and baths will be updated, as will the corridor and third floor lounge areas. Currently housing 16 rooms, after renovation the third floor will include 14 rooms and one suite.

“The Manor House is the central jewel of the estate,” said Wise. “Guests have always loved the historic second floor rooms which were those of the family. Those on the third floor, which were created after a fire in the 1980s, have not had the same feeling and connection to the house and its history, but soon they will.”

The new design will complement but not attempt to replicate the historic aesthetic, taking inspiration from third floor’s original purpose – a set of rooms where Nathalie Gray kept an eclectic collection of finds, including many from her travels. Each guest room will be distinctly detailed and curated so that each guest experience will be unique.

“The feeling will be that of being a guest of the family, but with the level of service and experience one would expect from a luxury hotel like Graylyn,” said Wise.

Work on the design phase of the project is currently underway; the project is expected to be complete and ready for occupancy in late spring 2017. The hotel is remaining fully operational during the renovation process and Wise says the work will be completed with minimal impact to guest

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