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The Redmont Hotel is a 14-story-tall (160 ft, 60 m), 120-room hotel, residence and conference center located on the corner of 5th Avenue North and 21st Street in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. The Redmont, named after Birmingham's Red Mountain is the oldest hotel in Birmingham still in use. It is currently owned by Bayshore Company Tampa, Florida and operates as an independent hotel. The hotel will be developed by Rhaglan Hospitality.

History


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The Redmont was opened on May 1, 1925, as a 200-room hotel with plans by architect G. Lloyd Preacher of Atlanta, Georgia. It was unusual at its time for having a private bath attached to every room as well as chilled water and ceiling fans. The "Rainbow Room" lounge debuted in 1937 and became the watering hole for an informal group of influential persons called the "Knothole Gang".

In 1946 the hotel was purchased by businessman and hotel magnate Clifford Stiles. In 1947 Stiles converted the entire top floor into a New York-style penthouse apartment for himself and his family. This elegant penthouse was complete with terraces, private elevator, a lawn for pets and was the scene of many glamorous parties. Some say that Stiles, who died in 1975, still haunts the building. In 1952, singer Hank Williams spent his last night in the Redmont on an uncompleted trip from Montgomery to Charleston, West Virginia. One of the suites earned the moniker "the Lucky Governor's Suite" when it served as the local headquarters for the successful Jim Folsom and George Wallace gubernatorial campaigns of the 1940s, '50s and 60s.

After decades of decline, the hotel was purchased in 1983 by an investment group made up of NBA players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ralph Sampson. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 27 of that year. A $7 million renovation led to a grand re-opening in 1985. Another refurbishment in 2000 uncovered previously hidden architectural details and cleaned the exterior.

In April 2006 the Redmont's ownership group announced plans to convert its two uppermost floors into nine one- and two-bedroom condominia with another luxury condominium in the penthouse. The condominia would have included hotel services such as housecleaning, valet parking, room service, security and bellhop assistance as well as access to the fitness center. Other plans included adding a coffee bar or doughnut shop at ground level. The owners also dropped their association with Crowne Plaza and began operating the hotel as an independent. Due to the economic environment resulting from the Great Recession, the 2006 renovation plans were indefinitely suspended.

Current status


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Following the award of Alabama State Historic Tax Credits in October, 2013, plans are underway for a $6 million total renovation of the hotel in 2014, after which the hotel will operate as an upscale luxury historic hotel in the City of Birmingham.

The Redmont boasts Above, the only rooftop hotel bar in the State of Alabama.

Footnotes


Redmont Hotel - Redmont Hotel - Birmingham | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Additional references


Redmont Hotel - Book The Redmont Hotel, Birmingham, Alabama - Hotels.com
  • Williams, Roy L. (April 12, 2006) "Redmont Hotel top floors going condo". Birmingham News.
  • Bosley, Anita S. (September 1, 2000) "Building holds clues to '20s-era Birmingham". Birmingham Business Journal.

Redmont Hotel - Redmont Hotel - Hotels - Birmingham, AL - Yelp

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