The Craddock Terry Shoe Company was founded in 1888 by John W. Craddock. With facilities throughout Central Virginia and in Ohio and Missouri, and an office in the Empire State building, Craddock Terry Shoe Co. began a legacy in Lynchburg, VA, and grew into the 5th largest shoe company in the world. The original site of the Southland Factory, sits below us in the empty lot adjacent to Waterstone Pizza on Jefferson Street. When the Southland Factory was unable to keep up with orders, the main building of the Craddock Terry Hotel was built in 1905 as the Craddock Terry Southland Annex. The Craddock Terry Shoe Company was the first shoe company south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Built on the edge of the James River, the factory immediately became the backbone of Lynchburg, Virginia’s commercial success. This building produced over 2,500 pairs of women’s shoes per day. The Craddock Terry Shoe Company produced every type of shoe, from baby shoes to combat boots, to the tune of nearly 100,000 pairs daily at the peak of their production capacity. The other half of our hotel, the King building is housed in the William King Jr. Tobacco Warehouse. The King Building, built in 1896, was used for storing dried and drying tobacco by the Imperial Tobacco Company. This 6 stories tall building was constructed of hand-made brick fired right here in Virginia and named for the manager of the Imperial Tobacco.
Hal Craddock, chief architect of the Craddock Terry Hotel, is the Great-grandson of John. W. Craddock. His business partner Lynn Cunningham came alongside Hal as the interior designer and architect for the project. It took nearly five years to restore the two buildings, including a massive project to replace the entire roof of the King building due to termite and water damage. In 2007, the original factory was converted into the Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center, a downtown luxury accommodation occupying the original building and the historic William King Building.
During the renovation, great care was taken to retain the original industrial feel, with exposed wood beam ceilings, brick and stone exterior walls and nine-foot tall windows, while at the same time updating the buildings into a modern first-class facility. What resulted is an upscale, boutique hotel where guests enjoy an unsurpassed level of luxury and service.
Paying homage to its origins, shoes are celebrated at the Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center with whimsical touches such as complimentary in-room continental breakfast served in an old-fashioned wooden shoeshine box, shoe-shaped signs to label each guestroom door and shoeshine service available upon request. The decor throughout the hotel is accented with historical artifacts mixed with modern artwork, and a unique collection of shoe memorabilia gives a further ode to the building’s unique heritage.