Glass-themed hotel in Downtown Norfolk starting to take shape

A rendering of the new Glass Light Hotel and Gallery on Granby Street in Downtown Norfolk (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Marriott Hotels)
A rendering of the new Glass Light Hotel and Gallery on Granby Street in Downtown Norfolk (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Marriott Hotels)

NORFOLK — The city’s historic Royster Building is getting a makeover.

Developers are busy converting the former office space into The Glass Light Hotel and Gallery, described by the hotel’s website as “an intellectually curious boutique hotel and glass art gallery” in Downtown Norfolk.

The Glass Light is part of Marriott Hotel’s “Autograph Collection,” a series boutique hotels that focus on art and design.

The 117-room hotel is slated to feature a French restaurant and bar, as well as multiple meeting rooms and boardrooms, according to the developer’s conditional use permit filed with the city.

The hotel will employ about 100 people, according to its summary of operations submitted to the city. The building, constructed in 1903, was most recently the headquarters of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Association, which vacated the building in 2016, according to their website.

The Glass Light takes its name from the “exceptional works of glass art by world renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly, Peter Bremers and Lino Tagliapietra,” according to Marriott’s website. The glass artwork will be displayed in the hotel to “hide in the corners and hang from the spaces around you to peak your senses and warm the glow at Glass Light.”

Rendering of the Glass Light Hotel's bar (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Marriott Hotels)
Rendering of the Glass Light Hotel’s bar (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Marriott Hotels)

The glass art is owned by the Pat and Doug Perry, who have an affinity for glass art. The Perry family’s support of the arts in Norfolk is most visible on the face of downtown buildings — the Chrysler Museum’s Perry Glass Studio and Governor School for the Arts’ Perry Family Arts Center.

They have also provided significant support to the Hurrah Players, The Virginia Stage Company, Slover Library, The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Arts Festival, Old Dominion University, Access College Foundation, An Achievable Dream, and Samaritan House, according to a Downtown Norfolk Council news release on the Perry Family. The Perry family also launched the Glass Wheel Studio in Norfolk’s NEON District before focusing on the glass-centered gallery of the new hotel.

The Glass Light is slated to open this summer.

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