The Georges occupies two buildings in downtown Lexington—the Washington Building and the Marshall Building. These buildings are two of Lexington’s oldest surviving structures, both built over 200 years ago, and have each served as private homes, shops, inns and offices over the course of their existence. With both buildings elegantly restored in 2014, our guests will find the best of modern amenities with all the original character, charm and history.
Located on the corner of Main and Washington, the Georgian-style Washington Building is one of the oldest surviving structures in Lexington. Historically called the Alexander Withrow House, it took its name from two historic owners—William Alexander, one of the area’s earliest settlers and first postmasters, who built the house in 1789; and the Withrow family, who owned the building from 1875 to 1969.
The building, and its renovations through the years, tell the story of our town. In 1796, when nearly all of Lexington was destroyed by a great fire, this building was one of only two left standing, along with The Castle on Randolph Street. In 1851, when the city lowered the streets, the house received a new level underpinning it. Then in 1855, owner George Baker replaced the original gable roof with a stylish, Italianate one.
The Historic Lexington Foundation was formed in 1966 to raise funds to purchase significant city buildings, stabilize them structurally, and resell them with protective covenants requiring that the exteriors remain essentially true to their roots. The Washington Building was the foundation’s first acquisition. It became part of a larger project to revitalize the entire block of North Main Street between Washington and Henry, and it purchased the building from the Withrows in 1969 and oversaw a significant renovation to stabilize the exterior in 1970.
In 2013, The Georges Hotel purchased the building and finished a complete renovation in the spring of 2014, and reintroduced it as the Washington Building. Today, we offer five suites in this beautiful three-level brick townhouse, which is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. It is also home to the casual Haywood’s piano bar restaurant.
The Marshall Building, just across the street from the Washington Building, represents three periods of construction. Even though it has long been painted to look like one building, we love the charm of each wing. If you look closely, you’ll see small changes in the brickwork and the slightly different window sizes.
The oldest section of the house was erected in 1809 by John McCampbell. In 1816, a small section on the southern end was added, and in 1857 a large addition was made to the northern end of the building. The structure has served many purposes—from a residence to a jewelry store, doctor’s office, telegraph and post office, and, of course, a hotel.
When owner John Lindsey added porches to the side and rear of the building in 1907, the property became the Central Hotel. It operated as a hotel and boarding house for nearly 65 years, but fell into disrepair. In 1971, the Historic Lexington Foundation purchased the inn, stabilized it, and restored the exterior by the following year. The building then sat empty for another decade until Peter and Susan Meredith rescued it, oversaw an extensive and thoughtful renovation, and it became a guest inn once more in 1979.
We reopened the inn as part of The Georges in the spring of 2014 and renamed it the Marshall Building. It now features 13 stately guest rooms and suites across its four floors. On the street level, you’ll also find our reception area, along with TAPS, our lobby lounge.