CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ninety years after its opening, Charlotte's only historic hotel is in the midst of a more than $2 million facelift.

Summit Hospitality Group, which owns the 10-story Dunhill Hotel in uptown, started the renovations (last) month in a project expected to cost between $2 million and $2.5 million.

The changes include replacing the carpets, wallpaper, lighting and much of the furniture in the guest rooms, and updating some of the furniture in the meeting rooms. Some of the existing antique furniture will be incorporated into the new design, said Meredith Zingrass, project manager for renovations and development at Summit.

The Raleigh-based hotel and restaurant management company expects the revamp to be complete in February. The hotel will stay open during the upgrades.

"We're trying to keep some of that character going," Zingrass said. "But make it a little bit more contemporary and more functional for the modern day traveler."

A reintroduction

Long-rumored to be haunted, the hotel, at North Tryon and Sixth streets, opened in 1929 as the Mayfield Manor. Designed by Charlotte architect Louis Asbury, it housed a mixture of permanent guests and travelers.

At the time, there were 15 hotels in Charlotte, according to a report on the hotel from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. But the two largest from that era -- the Charlotte Hotel and the Clayton Hotel -- were demolished in the 1970s and 1980s.

A partnership affiliated with Summit's CEO, Doyle Parrish, purchased the Mayfield building in 1991, property and business registration records show. The firm spent $2.1 million to acquire the property from the bank after the previous owner filed for bankruptcy, the Observer reported at the time.

Southern restaurant The Asbury is also inside the Dunhill.

Given the increase in competition among hotels, Zingrass said the company wanted to reintroduce the Dunhill to travelers and show that it is making necessary improvements to stay relevant.

Several hundred hotel rooms have been added in uptown in recent years as the Embassy Suites, Kimpton, Springhill Suites and other projects have opened.

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