The Roarin' Twenties Come Roarin' Back!

 Monty Wyne

Historic Read House is undergoing a $25 million renovation to restore the legendary hotel to its former greatness. Avocet Hospitality Group, located in Charleston, South Carolina, is recreating a modern-day version of the hotel’s 1926 stateliness. Maycreate began work on the project early last year and renovations began this month.

Brian May, president and senior creative director, has been spearheading the project working directly with Jon Weitz, president and CEO of Avocet. Avocet’s philosophy is to provide a unique and memorable experience for guests that reflects the individual personality of each one of the company’s unique properties.

With that in mind, one of our initial assignments was to create and cover a 15 by 9-foot wall with an historical timeline. Its purpose was to provide guests with a remarkable vision of the hotel’s historical significance.

In addition, we also covered a 75 by 9-foot wall with imagery from the ‘20s and copy that established the theme for this impressive transformation. Both walls appear at the hotel’s temporary registration desk, as well as a model room, while construction is underway. The theme, in our client’s words, is... “Think the Great Gatsby!” Brian May art directed and managed the production and installation of these colorful life-size murals. Monty Wyne, senior copywriter, provided content, which entailed considerable research dating, back to the mid 1800s.

Maycreate was also tasked with creating, designing and launching a Microsite. Its purpose was to inform guests, visitors and the press about the restoration and the hotel’s celebrated history. The Site also included an historical time-line that covered major events, famous guests, and any changes that took place inside the hotel, as well as changes in ownership over the years. Grant Little, senior art director, mapped out, designed, and oversaw the development of the Microsite, which was completed by a third party. Monty Wyne and our client provided content.

In addition, Brian May and Virginia Brooks, designer and front-end developer, have designed construction signage to cover the exterior construction fence. The purpose of the signage is to create excitement and increase expectation for the community, guests, and passersby for this historic restoration and development.

A brief history, Crutchfield House preceded Read House and was built in the late 1840s. It survived the Civil War, floods, and political unrest only to burn to the ground in 1867. Read House, an impressive 3-story building, opened in 1872. By 1926, with Chattanooga’s increasing need to accommodate visitors and conventions, the new 10-story hotel opened. Many famous people have been guests of Read House over the years, including Winston Churchill, Elvis Presley, and Al Capone, among others. Be sure to visit the Microsite for more details.