The Orange Hotel.

The famous (and infamous) Orange Hotel was on the market again recently — for something north of $50K. The listing seems to be have withdrawn, though I don’t think the building sold. 

While in Wilson, I took an opportunity to take a closer look.

Per the 1984 Nomination Form for recognition as a National Historic District for “Wilson Central Business District – Tobacco Warehouse Historic District,” “the two-story, weather-boarded frame building is three-bays wide and four-bays deep and is sheltered beneath a low, hipped roof of standing seam metal; interior brick chimneys with corbeled caps pierce the roof. The house’s only ornamentation is supplied by a five-bay, two-tier porch that is carried across the north faced by turned posts with small curved brackets.”

The Orange Hotel has been hard-used for most of its 116-year existence and has stood empty for the last five or so. It’s not falling down, but it’s in pretty bad shape. One of the corbel-capped chimneys collapsed and was replaced by a squat brick structure. The turned porch posts with their curved brackets are largely intact, however.

“A balustrade of slender turned balusters connects the posts on the second story; a replacement railing of ‘x’ shaped two-by-fours is on the first story. The first story entrance has a double door with a two-pane transom; a single door is on the second floor.”

The turned balusters on the second floor are also mostly in place, but the front double-door is now a plain single door.  

“The narrow windows contain two-over-two in plain surrounds.” These windows must be seven-feet tall.

“The rear elevation is occupied by a one-story ell.” I assume that that rickety staircase at right was added after 1984, and perhaps the shed-roofed enclosures at center as well.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2022.

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