125 Years at the Jefferson: A tour through Richmond’s historic hotel

8News Digital Exclusive

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Jefferson Hotel is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020 and offering guests a chance to celebrate the milestone with them. 8News got an exclusive tour of the building, with a glimpse into the history of the hotel’s founding.

The Jefferson’s rotunda circle (circa. 1900)

Named after Thomas Jefferson, the hotel was founded by Major Lewis Ginter in 1895. Ginter’s legacy lives on through the hotel and the popular Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

The Jefferson Hotel caught on fire in 1901. The flames destroyed two-thirds of the building and caused a majority of the hotel to be rebuilt. The massive columns inside the building were added upon reconstruction and were made of faux marble.

Jennifer Crisp, the public relations manager at the Jefferson, said the staff loves their jobs and enjoy being a part of the rich history.

“That’s something to truly be humbled by and grateful for that we can be a part of so many people’s lives in the community. I think the Jefferson means different things to different people, but almost everyone that you meet has had an occasion to celebrate a special occasion, enjoy a meal with us, perhaps even celebrate a milestone anniversary or birthday,” Crisp said.

The Jefferson Hotel (1910)

The Jefferson has held coveted events like its annual tree lighting, as well as acting as a beautiful wedding venue and serving as a perfect spot to get happy hour.

The hotel had even housed about 13 alligators in its building during its early years, making the reptile a firm mascot of the Jefferson.

WATCH: The lore of the alligator

The Jefferson Hotel offers packages for guests to join in on the anniversary celebrations.

“One really special package we are offering is for couples who are also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, so anybody who was married between January 1st and December 31st of 1970,” Crisp said.

They get free valet parking and a $125 room with this deal.

Reservations for other packages like this must be made via telephone at 800-424-8014. Visit the Jefferson’s website for more information.

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