The new Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown is more than a hotel; it's an iconic landmark that illuminates the history, legacy and hospitality of Mississippi's Capitol City. A symbol of Jackson downtown's renaissance, the Hilton Garden Inn is an exciting destination with classic charm, historic elegance and warm Southern hospitality. Feel our vibrant new ambiance as you experience a long tradition of welcoming travelers from around the world.
The Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown was formerly the King Edward Hotel, the second of two hotels located at Capitol and Mill Streets. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and declared a Mississippi Landmark in 1990, the King Edward was closed for nearly 40 years before our renovations began in 2006.
The Early Years of the King Edwards Hotel
The original hotel on the site was known as the Confederate House, built by "Major" R.O. Edwards in 1861. After being destroyed by Gen. Sherman's forces in Civil War in 1863, the 3-story hotel was rebuilt and reopened in 1867 as the Edwards House, the prominent center of Jackson society and politics for over 40 years. The hotel was replaced in 1923 by the present 12-story beige brick structure, designed in the Beaux-Arts architecture style by New Orleans architect William Nolan. This grand new hotel opened as the Edwards Hotel.
The architect employed neo-classical revival style with the front façade featuring a limestone portico of coupled Corinthian columns supporting a full entablature and balustrade which sheltered the Capitol Street entrance. The hotel featured 300 rooms with all of the modern amenities of the time. The magnificent lobby was distinguished by six large columns set along the perimeter of an oval light well, lit by skylights above the second floor. On the second level, accessed by Tennessee golden vein marble staircase with an intricate bronze balustrade, was the convention hall with an arched and lighted coffered ceiling.
In 1954 the hotel was purchased, renovated and expanded by Milner Enterprises. Many of the original architectural elements were obscured during the renovations of the hotel; the lobby was "modernized" and the rotunda opening was floored for space on the second floor. The hotel rooms were refurbished and a convention hall complex with a multilevel parking garage was constructed as well as a patio and swimming pool on the roof. With its name changed to the King Edward Hotel, the hotel hosted the most prominent political events, social receptions, balls, dinners, and meetings in Jackson. Sadly, in 1967 the hotel closed, ending its colorful tradition of Southern hospitality in Jackson. In 1976 the hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
King Edward Legacy - Politics to Blues
Over the years the Edwards House, Edwards Hotel, and King Edward Hotel hosted many politically important people. Home to many state legislators, it was also residence to Governor Edmond Noel while the Governor's Mansion was undergoing renovations in 1908, and home to Walter Sillers, who resided there from 1916 until the 1960s. A banquet at the Edwards House was given in honor of President Taft during his visit to Mississippi in 1909. And in December of 1930, a room at the hotel was used by Okeh Records to record many important blues sessions. The flurry of political activity at the hotel prompted one reporter to write: "There are three branches of Mississippi legislature-the Upper House, the Lower House, and the Edwards House."
Restoration, Rebirth, & Renaissance in Jackson downtown
The King Edward Hotel sat vacant in Jackson downtown for over 40 years, despite attempts to revitalize this cherished landmark. In December 2006, Watkins Partners, former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and Historic Restoration Inc. of New Orleans formed a partnership to restore the King Edward. In 2007 the rehabilitation of the hotel began, and was completed in 2009 at a cost of $90 million. In December 2009, the newly restored King Edward opened its doors to Jackson as the Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown. Former Mayor of Jackson, Harvey Johnson Jr., called the hotel's renovation the "linchpin" in the revitalization Jackson downtown!
The evolved Hilton Garden Inn Jackson downtown features 186 beautiful rooms and suites, 64 luxury apartments, the King Edward Grill, King Edward Bar, Pavilion Pantry convenience mart, Seattle's Best Coffee shop, a fitness center, swimming pool, business center, 7,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and retail space. Preserving some of the original historic architectural elements, the interior renovation of the historic hotel incorporates Hilton design requirements into the existing hotel. Despite years of neglect and many challenges, the King Edward Hotel lives again as the cherished landmark of Jackson downtown .