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Designed in 1911 and built in 1912, this historic building was originally constructed as the headquarters for the F.S. Royster Fertilizer Company. The 15-story Classical-Revival building was predominantly used 5 dragons slotas an office building, and most recently served as the headquarters for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority until its reimagining as an intellectually curious boutique hotel—Glass Light Hotel & Gallery.

The goal of the project was to transform the building into a modern hotel without losing any of its historic charm. Located in the Downtown Norfolk Historic District, the century-old building now boasts 113 masterfully detailed guest rooms and suites, two meeting rooms, two board rooms, an upscale French restaurant and bar, and a full-service kitchen. In support of the local arts community, the adjoining building was transformed into a new, four-story art gallery and event space that hosts rotating exhibits, including works from local artists.

The property was envisioned as a home for the owners’ ever-expanding collection of unique and exquisite glass art. From the moment guests enter the building free slot machine gamesuntil they reach their room, the design creates an activated and highly experiential journey, connecting them both conceptually and physically to the artwork. The overall architectural design utilized natural light to enhance the interior features, from the art to the finishes, to create a remarkable glow.

The process of glassmaking, incorporating the elements of sand, fire, and air, is played out in curated, whimsical details in the hotel’s spaces. Guestrooms are specifically envisioned as a play on the glassblower’s studio. Rooms offer an open concept so guests can easily work, relax, or create in the space. Artwork displayed within the guestrooms is inspired by the color chips used for glassblowing. In the public spaces, glasswork takes center stage. The marriage of wood and glass details also nods to the glassmaking process, while iconic commissioned and one-of-a-kind pieces—all 5 dragons slotfrom the owners’ collection—serve as a catalyst for larger conversations surrounding the artistry, inherent authenticity, and actual creation of glass. Two custom, human-size glass bunnies by Peter Bremers—one greeting guest at reception and another draped across the bar— are the collection’s showstoppers. These bespoke bunnies were cast and molded in the artist’s studio in the Netherlands and are a sweet nod to one of the owners, whose grandchildren call her Bunny.

The project’s overarching challenge was to maintain the building’s character while modernizing and converting the deteriorating office space to a high-end hotel. This required innovative solutions and constant collaboration between all team members, much of which occurred during an extensive two-year preconstruction phase and an eight-month demolition period. During these phases, our team used innovative free slot machine gamestechnology to aid our efforts.

The successful preservation and conversion of this building illustrate that it is possible to fully embrace a historic building’s inherent character while altering its use to meet modern needs. The hope is that the resounding success of this project will serve as an inspiration to other developers in the preservation and rehabilitation of the Downtown Norfolk Historic District.


  • Norfolk Preservation Collective’s Preservation Award of Excellence in the Mixed-Use category
  • Norfolk Preservation Collective’s Preservation Award of Excellence in the Flood Prevention category
  • The Associated Builders and Contractors’ Virginia Chapter’s (ABCVA) Honor Award of Excellence in the Historic Renovation category
  • The Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate’s (HRACRE) Award of Excellence in the Best Renovated or Historic Rehabilitation category
  • The Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate’s (HRACRE) Jurors’ Choice award, an honor given to the most notable project overall
Project Details
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
free slot machine gamesArchitect: Baskervill
Size: 102,098 SF | 113 rooms
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