Reynolds Building street view
|Location||51 E. 4th St., Winston-Salem, North Carolina|
|Area||0.55 acres (0.22 ha)|
|Built by||James Baird Company|
|Architect||Shreve and Lamb|
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|NRHP Reference #||14000494|
|Added to NRHP||August 19, 2014|
The Reynolds Building is a 314-foot (96 m) Art Deco skyscraper at 51 E. 4th Street in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina with 313,996 square feet (29,171.2 m2) of space. It was completed in 1929 and has 21 floors. In February 2016, its first six floors are to open as the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel.
When completed as the headquarters of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was the tallest building in the United States south of Baltimore, Maryland, and it won a national architecture award. The building is well known for being a design inspiration for the much larger Empire State Building that was built in 1931 in New York City. Every year the staff of the Empire State Building sends a Father's Day card to the staff at the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem to pay homage to its role as predecessor to the Empire State Building. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
The building was designed, just as the Empire State Building, for the purpose of corporate offices with retail outlets on the first floor. Shreve & Lamb, the architects, were asked for "an effect of conservatism along with attractiveness, but to avoid flashiness." But regarding the result, a 1997 Winston-Salem Journal article said, "city residents could be forgiven for wondering whether the architects followed the directive" because "Gray-brown marble from Missouri, black marble from Belgium and buff-colored marble from France covered the walls and floor. The ceiling was festooned with gold leaves, and the grillwork, elevator doors and door frames were bright, gleaming brass." The stock market crash of 1929 hurt the Reynolds Building's leasing business temporarily, but it was more successful than other similar buildings at leasing offices. Its promotional brochure said that the 14th, 15th, and fourth floors were reserved for doctors and dentists, but this might not have been the case. Most of the offices were occupied by organizations related to the tobacco industry, such as railroads, insurance companies, and attorneys.
On November 23, 2009 the Winston-Salem Journal reported that Reynolds American, Inc. put the building up for sale after cutting jobs and moving many offices into the Plaza Building next door. Forsyth County tax records show the Reynolds Building's value as $12.3 million. The building offers 240,000 square feet (22,000 m2) of office space, much of that Class B.
In 2012, Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, which owned the Proximity and O. Henry hotels in nearby Greensboro, considered plans to turn the building into a luxury hotel for business travelers, but ultimately chose not to proceed.
In March 2013, Reynolds American selected CBRE to market the building, which the company intended to sell for $15 million. Philadelphia-based PMC Property Group, which renovates historic buildings, and San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group bought the Reynolds Building for $7.8 million. Plans call for "a boutique hotel, restaurant and upscale apartments." 
On November 5, 2015, Kimpton said its Kimpton Cardinal Hotel would have 174 rooms on the building's first six floors, along with 36 suites, a fitness center, a restaurant and bar, and 6400 square feet of meeting space, with an opening date of February 2016. PMC planned to spend $60 million on the building. On December 15, Kimton said the restaurant, on the ground floor, would be named Katharine Brasserie & Bar after the wife of R.J. Reynolds, and that it would be separate from the hotel.
The 7th through 19th floors (there is no 13th floor because of superstition dating to the building's construction) will be opening in March as The Residences @ the R.J. Reynolds Building, with 20 apartments on the first four of those floors and six on the remaining floors. 65 percent will be 700 square feet with one bedroom and the rest will be 830 to 1000 square feet with two bedrooms. The 19th floor apartments are tied with those in the Nissen Building for highest residential space. Different elevators will serve the hotel and the apartments. The 20th floor mezzanine will have meeting space and the top two floors will house mechanical equipment.
- "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/18/14 through 8/23/14. National Park Service. 2014-08-29.
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- Craver, Richard (2014-05-22). "Former R.J. Reynolds headquarters sold for $7.8 million". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
- Hastings, Michael (2015-12-15). "Restaurant in Reynolds Building could open in February". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
- Craver, Richard (2016-01-09). "Reynolds residences offer iconic views from downtown Winston-Salem". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2016-01-11.