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tombarnes

King Edward Hotel Restoration Progress

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King Edward Reconstruction Begins

The King Edward has moved into the next stage of its reconstruction into a mixed-use complex which will include a Hilton Garden Inn, apartments, restaurants, commercial and office space. Here are a few construction pictures. I'll update this with more as the project progresses.

Webshots.com

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King Edward Reconstruction Begins

The King Edward has moved into the next stage of its reconstruction into a mixed-use complex which will include a Hilton Garden Inn, apartments, restaurants, commercial and office space. Here are a few construction pictures. I'll update this with more as the project progresses.

Webshots.com

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Indeed. The interior design work is being done by Thomas Hamilton Associates of Richmond in both cases. I can't wait to see how the Miller & Rhoads project turns out. According to an article in the Northside Sun, the interior will be stripped entirely within the next few weeks. I will be interested to see the floorplans for the new design.

The Northside Sun

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Another series of pictures of the interior of the King Edward. This one is a tour given to bankers involved in the financing of the project.

Webshots

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Hey Tom, the webshots will not come up. But thanks for the update. Great news for downtown Jackson. It should be a major catalyst in the revitalization there. The historic restored Capitol House in BR re-opened over a year ago, has been a huge success. Hopefully Jackson will see the same results. Good to see two Deep South Capitol City's thinking alike!

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The Webshots links won't work? It seems to be working fine for me. I wonder what's going on here....

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Windows Out...Work Picks Up Steam...

The latest pictures from HRI indicate that work is proceeding nicely at the King Edward. Most of the windows are already gone and parts of the rotted cornice have been removed. Once this is done, I suppose they will begin to remove interior walls. The Webshots link should not require any special registration or downloads.

Webshots- HRI

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King Edward- Ready By July, 2009

The next phase of the renovation of the King Edward should begin in about a month. Currently, the interior walls of the upper floors are being removed. Once this is done, lights and plumbing will be installed and the restoration of the public areas can begin as well. David Watkins says he hopes to have the hotel and apartments open by July, 2009. Rental of the apartments won't begin until early 2009. I'm hoping for an update soon with pictures of the stripped interior. If I do manage to get down to Jackson in the next few months, I will take pictures myself.

The Northside Sun

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Drago's Coming to the King Edward?

An article in the Clarion Ledger today mentios that David Watkins is in talks with the owners of New Orleans' well known Drago's seafood restaurant. The original restaurant is in Metairie, but the family has opened a new and successful venture in the Hilton New Orleans. This is a good idea, as the restaurant ought to be a good fit for the project- nice without being insanely expensive. It also ties in well with the history of the King Edward, which had a popular oyster bar in the 1950's and 60's.

Drago's- Press Release for New Orleans Riverside Location

The Clarion-Ledger

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The rooftop sign facing west has been taken down. The sign facing east will be restored- at a cost of over $250,000 I'm told. A rooftop pool, deck and fitness room will be built on the west side of the building. Interior demolition work continues on floors 3-12. It also looks as though some work may have been done on the second floor. The more intricate work of restoring/replicating interior features of the first two floors willl most likely be done in the late spring/summer.

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Ceremony on the 27th of March

A (second) groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the King Edward on Thursday, the 27th of March. Governor Barbour will be on hand for the event. Adam Lynch of the Jackson Free Press has a story about it already.

The Jackson Free Press

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More on the ceremony today. The video below has a few shots of the interior in the 50's. I expect that there will be more coverage of the event today.

WAPT Channel 16 News

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Rendering of the King Edward

Image courtesy of HRI/Watkins Partners/Forum Studio

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I managed to sneak off from work for lunch early today and go downtown for the big shindig. Here are a few pictures I took standing outside the recently renovated Union Station. It was my first time inside since renovations were completed - impressive. I should have taken pictures there but time was limited and I was much excited about the King Ed. sorry the interior shot wasn't better. they only allowed us in the lobby area:

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This is a shot of the Mayflower Cafe, a downtown institution. One of my favorite restaurants ever for broiled redfish or lemon fish. Also they have the best comeback dressing/sauce in town, and that's saying something.

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in the background is the McCoy Federal building. The Standard Life building is down the street behind where I'm standing to snap this picture.

these are exciting times in old Jacktown after so many years of neglect.

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I just wish I could have been there to see this. Thanks for the pictures! It's great to see it coming along so well. It's also goood to know that the money for the project is already in hand and that there should not be any ugly surprises along the way. Here's a short video from the CL...

The Clarion-Ledger

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Here is a comprehensive set of pictures from the groundbreaking ceremony at the King Edward. Note the designers' presentation boards. I assume that the demolition of the escalator and dropped ceiling over the rotunda will take place in the next couple of months. Everything seems to be going ahead on schedule!

Webshots- Groundbreaking Pictures

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Demolition of the powerhouse and the 1954 ballroom addition has been completed. Work on the interior is progressing at a rapid pace. I'll have a link for more pictures soon.

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Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of traveling to Jackson and meeting David Watkins. He took time from his busy schedule to give me a tour of the building. We started at the roof and worked our way down to the main floor. The work is progressing nicely, though much of the intricate restoration work on the first two floors won't begin until perhaps the first of the year. Work is progressing nicely elsewhere in the building. This will be a stunning project when it is complete. I'll have more photos posted later today, but here's one of Mr. Watkins to start off...

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David Watkins in the lobby of the King Edward

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The stairway to a "secret" card room above the entrance. (upper)

Indise the "secret" card room... (lower)

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Preliminary cleaning of the stonework has produced great results!

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It is so gratifying to see a fine old city hotel refurbished.

Bet some big political deals were negotiated in the hidden "card room" back in the old days. It might make a neat bar.

How many restaurants will be in the King Edward when it's completed? And how many rooms will be available?

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There will likely be one main restaurant and perhaps a less formal one. There is some discussion of having a coffee shop somewhat like the Cafe du Monde or the Community Coffee Place (New Orleans and Baton Rouge establishments respectively). There will certainly be a bar in connection with the main restaurant. I know that David Watkins would love to have a sushi restaurant or bar, but we shall have to see what develops. As far as I know, the developers are still in talks with various parties. I don;t think the Brennan family will be involved, as they are building a restaurant in Madison- one never knows, however, so I wouldn't rule anything out at this time.

I'll try to get a few more pictures transferred over from FlickR. It's really great to see the project moving along so well.

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I live in Little Rock, but I would just like to say that I have been taken back by how Mr. Watkins, the city and investors are taking this grand old hotel and restoring it to its glory. I wish we had a hotel like that here in Little Rock. I can

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King Edward Update with Pictures

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Exterior- June, 2008

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King Edward- Shop interior- Capitol and Mill Streets

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David Watkins on the roof of the King Edward with the Standard Life building behind. This will also be restored within the next year

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Buildings on Capitol Street across from the King Edward. These will eventually be restored. HRI and the Watkins Partners are working on a plan for some of these buildings right now. Others have different owners. The puzzle is coming together.

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I'm back from my first trip to Jackson in my adult life. I've driven through the city countless times, and I've always wanted to stop and check it out, but it's just never happened. I had a couple of extra days to spare, gas wasn't an issue, and it's only a 3 hour drive from New Orleans, so I decided to head north and spend a day and a night in Mississippi's capital. I must say I was very impressed with Jackson and thouroughly enjoyed my time there, but I'll get more into that when I post a selection of the 600+ photos I took in Jackson.

Tom got me interested in the King Edward Hotel a couple of years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing the building in person. It's a beautiful old building, and there is alot of activity around the site. Lots of construction workers coming and going, sounds of machinery, etc. However, much of the downtown area surrounding the King Edward and Standard Life Building is in terrible shape. Especially the line of buildings on Capitol Street that Tom posted, along with another line of buildings on Pearl Street. I'm glad to see that there are plans for renovation, but they've certainly got their work cut out for themselves. From the looks of it, it's been a very long time since anyone paid any attention to that part of the city.

Here's a photo from yesterday to show you that I was really there: ;)

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