Macon, GA, Feb. 3 2022 – Downtown Macon, Georgia, celebrated a major milestone earlier this week with the grand opening of Hotel Forty Five.
The 94-room boutique hotel joins the Marriott Tribute Portfolio collection and is aptly named for its location on an iconic triangular downtown block – a 45-degree-angle formed by Cherry and First Streets and flanked by Cotton Avenue. Developed by partners Mainsail Lodging & Development and IDP Properties, the project is an adaptive reuse of the historic Bankers Insurance Building, an 11-story office tower built in 1939. The “golden brick high-rise” was considered the tallest building between New York and Miami following the Great Depression.
The partners collaborated with Macon’s Dunwody/Beeland Architects then turned to BRPH’s hospitality group led by Margaret Brock, director and principal, for interior design services.
The custom-designed boutique property is a celebration of Macon’s 3 Cs: cherry blossoms, cotton and concert halls, Brock explained. Hotel Forty Five is a place “where the soul lives,” celebrating the city’s favorite sons, musical legends Otis Redding, Little Richard and the Allman Brothers.
“We were honored to be chosen for this project and to incorporate some of the original historical elements of the building to preserve its unique history as a Macon landmark,” she said. “Our design narrative tells the story of the building, the era in which it was built, and the community in which it resides through an intersection of soft textures with a variety of wood tones, natural stone and copper detailing.”
The building, which hovers on the edge of art deco (art moderne) and early mid-century modern, was designed with timeless sophistication, including bold terrazzo floor patterns that provide pops of color and geometry as well as wayfinding. Throughout the lobby, guest rooms and other Hotel Forty Five venues – Loom, a signature chef-driven restaurant; Hightales Rooftop Bar, a sixth-floor lounge; and Reckon Coffee & Wine Bar – the décor is comprised of strong and earthy materials such as copper, walnut and blackened steel balanced by soft, unbleached cotton. Materials and product selections embraced a palette of ivy green, cherry and ivory.
The use of copper as an architectural finish and in furnishings throughout the hotel was inspired by the copper dome of the Macon City Auditorium, located next door to the hotel and claimed by many locals to be the largest in the world. The color banding and textural fluting found in the original exterior and interior architectural cladding are re-introduced into the interior as a nod to this timeless design. The BRPH design team seamlessly wove together these historic and compelling elements to create a space that captures Macon’s effortless charm and Southern hospitality, as well as the character and spirit of the original building.