If you’re not from Southbridge, Massachusetts and its surrounding towns, when you initially think about staying in the area, I'd suggest taking a visit to their Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center. While you might be expecting to lodge at just another regular hotel, as soon as you pull up on the hotel grounds, it's gorgeous red brick buildings and towering clock pillars begin to hint at a deeper story.
I soon discovered the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center offers a unique departure from the norm. Once the town’s industry epicenter and main source of employment for the Southbridge township, the Hotel and Conference Center is a current day fusion and partial restoration of what was once a vibrant optical factory.
Conference Center Main Lobby
Original Building Brick Facade Wall
Restored External Buildings
Established back in 1833 by William Beecher and once known as The American Optical Company--the largest optical company in the world--the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center began its construction for lodging and event purposes back in 2000. At that time the building’s new design would focus on the preservation and restoration of the former factory’s architectural dignity and history.
The end result is now being enjoyed by countless Southbridge Hotel patrons; an elegantly streamlined design of historic accents--exposed brick facades, expansive floor to ceiling windows, metal-railed spiral staircase, and a gorgeous hand carved marble fireplace all laid on a backdrop of contemporary interior design. Despite the unmistakable facelift of the hotel’s updated design, visitors are still afforded a nostalgic tour of The American Optical Company’s history through thoughtfully created art pieces and room names that all pay homage to the literal “Visionaries” of Southbridge.
Original Southbridge Flood level Markers from 1900s
So the next time you plan to take a trip or host an event near Southbridge, Massachusetts, check out the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center. It may very well be the perfect blend of Contemporary design and timeless New England Charm you or your guests are guaranteed to enjoy for years to come!