21c Hotel: Elegance is back

So much is happening in Durham… every ramble is an opportunity to see the changes in this old tobacco town…yesterday Jonathan wandered downtown:

Guided by the spirit of lunchtime adventure, I walked past the very recently opened 21c Museum Hotel and decided to explore.

In the renovated Hill Building at the heart of downtown Durham, 21c founder Steve Wilson has paired his passion for revitalization with contemporary art. Having watched the progress over the past year, I wanted to check out the finished space.

The lobby of the former bank building, in its art deco splendor, is preserved and takes you back to a time of architectural elegance. Adjacent to the lobby is the lounge and restaurant, ornately decorated with dynamic sculptures and lighting accents. I can imagine sipping on a delicious cocktail while enjoying the scene.… planning to begin immediately for some time in the near future…

The 21c is grand in scale and would certainly meet the approval of Jay Gatsby and his friends. Even the restrooms are contemporary with transparent glass that turns opaque white when in use, something that seems a little strange but is exciting to experience.

The second floor is open-to-the-public, free 24-hour art galleries. The idea of having a free museum in downtown is a great idea. It will help solidify Durham as an art and cultural destination and advance its presence in the region.

For a moment you might feel as though you have been whisked away to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC or any other big city gallery. Looking out the windows you gaze upon the rapidly changing panorama that is downtown Durham and feel a sense of excitement for all the great things that are to come and those that have just arrived.

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