THE BERKELEY HOTEL HISTORY
The Berkeley Hotel was opened by Alan M. Voorhees & family in 1988, but the attention to detail and era leads most visitors to believe that it is much older. Upon selecting the site for a new boutique-style hotel in the historic Shockoe Slip, careful planning and consideration went into the construction of The Berkeley Hotel. Since the site is in a historic district of Richmond, the hotel was designed to be architecturally similar to the buildings surrounding it.
The original idea of a European-style hotel became the focus for deciding upon a name, so in recognition of the Berkeley Castle in England and the Berkeley Plantation, the hotel’s name was created. Mr. Malcolm Jamieson, the owner of the Berkeley Plantation, was The Berkeley Hotel’s very first guest at the grand opening in August 1988.
HISTORIC SHOCKOE SLIP
Founded as a small trading post by William Byrd in the early 1600’s, Shockoe Slip was the commercial center of Richmond and most of the Western part of the State. A young George Washington surveyed The Kanawha Canal that ran west and became the super waterway for goods until the Civil War.
Shockoe Slip literally rose out of the ashes after retreating Confederate troops burned most of downtown. Railroads and highways in the next century replaced the canals and waterways as major routes of commercial transportation.
In the early 1970’s an eclectic group of entrepreneurs and architects sparked the area’s second rejuvenation. Shockoe Slip’s neighborhood has become a prime example of urban restoration and historic preservation.