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Published October 29, 2021

Expanding History

ActivWall and The Bee give guests an unprecedented experience.
Featuring: ActivWall

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By Tynan Pratumwon
Staff Writer

At the corner of Patton Street and North Union Street in the River District of Danville, Virginia, sits a stately building that from 1921 to the 1970s was home to the Danville Bee newspaper. Today that location is an upscale boutique hotel that pays homage to its predecessor.


After the newspaper and press moved to a larger, more modern location in the ’70s, the grand stone building stood vacant for more than 40 years until it caught the attention of Virginia developer, Ed Walker. Walker and his team bought the building in 2018 and began restoring it.


The developers, architects, and designers involved in the project preserved as much of the historic property as possible by incorporating the elaborate portico, original wood floors, an original spiral staircase, and historical photographs into their designs for the boutique hotel.


In November of 2020, Marshall Hotels & Resorts opened The Bee, often called the Honey Bee by locals and fans, a 47-suite urban boutique-style hotel that tastefully blends high style and history for business travelers and vacationers alike.


Among the major additions to the building is an extension of the roof. Originally unfinished, the new building includes a rooftop suite and veranda that adds a beautiful element of modernity to the overall design. This rooftop suite opens up to the veranda through a custom-built Horizontal Folding Door by ActivWall. This made-to-order door featuring custom glass panels by Piedmont Glass allows the entire wall to the veranda to let in a maximum amount of light and showcase the historic downtown.


Working with the staff at Piedmont Glass, who handled all of the property’s commercial aluminum windows and doors, ActivWall designed and manufactured the custom six-panel Horizontal Folding Door to fit a 195″ wide by 86″ high opening between the suite and veranda.


The design of the ActivWall Horizontal Folding system allows it to be used as a single outswing door, a set of double outswing doors, or you can open all the panels for full access to the suite. The door is made of thermally broken aluminum in a black powder-coat finish with insulated Low E gray-tinted glass and a saddle sill.


“It was a pleasure to be part of the revitalization effort for this beautiful building and we look forward to working with Piedmont Glass on additional projects in the future,” said Carter Ferrell, VP of Engineering for ActivWall.



Doors, Partition Wall, Windows, Glass Architectural Walls, Glazing, Made in USA
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