Danielson’s Landmark becomes The Beacon
Yes, it's true...Lee Danielson is bringing his old hotel project back to the Mall. Only it won't be called The Landmark, as it was after being re-approved at a February 20 BAR meeting. According to Danielson, the 9-story boutique-style hotel planned for the old Central Fidelity Bank/Boxer Learning building will now be called The Beacon-Charlottesville.
According to developer Oliver Kuttner, who is selling the building back to Danielson after buying it from him last year when the developer's financing for the hotel project fell through, the name change may have something to do with a hotel that Danielson and his partners developed in South Beach, Florida–a 73-room Art Deco hotel called The Beacon, which was built in 1937 and elaborately renovated from 2004 to 2006. Check it out here.
As for Kuttner, it appears the iconoclastic developer has grown weary of the process of building in Charlottesville, saying there are are too many "variables" in seeing a building through to completion these days.
"I love that building," says Kuttner, who rescued the old mural in the bank lobby and sought to preserve the building's history. "And I thought Lee had done a lot of good groundwork. It's a notch above anything else being built in Charlottesville."
Indeed, browsing the website of The Beacon's architect, San Francisco-based Mark Hornberger, it appears the building is in good hands. His firm, Hornberger-Worstell, has designed spas, hotels, resorts, academic buildings, and residences all around the world, including California's historic Hotel del Coronado. Particularly striking is the 27-story W hotel in San Francisco's arts and convention district, which has a fitness center and a glass-covered swimming pool, but features lobby and bathroom designs as intimate and dynamic as anything found in a high-end private home.
Read more about the project in the March 1 edition of the Hook.
PHOTO NOTE: This photo shows the Downtown Mall before it was pedestrian, and the Central Fidelity Bank building before it took over the original Woolworth's building next door and added the black granite facade in 1965. Now it's poised to become the ritzy Beacon-Charlottesville.