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Mon May 12, 2014
Commission Backs Reynolds Building For Historic Register
A local historic agency has approved the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. building for a spot on the National Registrer of Historic Places.
The Reynolds Building was constructed in 1929 and for more than 45 years was the tallest building in North Carolina. The 22-story former tobacco company headquarters served as a model for New York City’s Empire State Building. LeAnn Pegram is a resource officer with the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission. She says the skyscraper exemplifies Winston-Salem’s industrial heritage.
The building is owned by the current Reynolds America Inc. When Reynolds scaled back a few years ago, employees were moved into an office building next door and the Reynolds Building was put up for sale. Pegram says the historic designation could make the building more attractive to developers.
Pegram says the nomination for historical preservation status has been forwarded to state officials, who will likely consider the nomination this summer. If approved at the state level, the National Park Service will make a final recommendation on whether the Reynolds Building belongs on the National Register of Historic Places. That’s likely to take place later this year. Needless to say, Pegram is confident of approval would be an understatement.
There was once a plan to turn the building into an upscale hotel, but those plans fell through. Developers are now considering the building for a boutique hotel and apartments, according to the Triad Business Journal, a newsgathering partner of WFDD. The building has a tax-assessed value of $12.3 million.