Landmark Hotel 'topped off' this morning

The Commerce Building, the Jefferson Theater, LiveArts, and the big new kid on Water Street: the Landmark Hotel.

Under the overcast skies of election day, one notable construction project hit a milestone early this morning, as the frame for the Landmark Hotel was 'topped off," according to an executive close to the $30 million project. Although no evergreen tree, the traditional topping off signal, was visible by mid-morning when the accompanying photograph was taken, the hotel does indeed appear to have reached its full, nine-story height.

One other recent development is that the City's Board of Architectural Review, on October 21, gave the developers "conditional permission," according to Charlottesville Tomorrow, to tear down the black granite facade that they had earlier vowed to save.

"The owners asked for permission to tear it down just to have the option
available," says BAR vice chair Syd Knight. "They said that they don't yet know whether it will be necessary.

Knight says the BAR approved the request with the stipulation that they carefully deconstruct it, preserve and number the materials and then reconstruct it exactly as it now exists.

"The Board felt that crafting the approval in that manner would give the owner an incentive to preserve the fa┬žade intact," Knight explains, " but would also give them the flexibility they need to deal with their structural issues."

Updated at 6pm