Orange Hotel


The Orange Hotel, is a contributing structure within the Downtown Tobacco Warehouse District, and has Landmark status. Built in 1906 for Samuel Vick, a pioneer in Wilson’s African American Community, the Orange Hotel was the first hotel for blacks in Wilson and it served as a social center for the African American community early in the century. 

Through the years, the Orange Hotel has had a variety of uses. One of its most prominent owners was Ms. Mattie B. Coleman. It has been documented that originally, the hotel was heavily frequented by the Chauffeur’s of wealthier non-black travelers who would often stay at the nearby Cherry Hotel. Unable to patronize the hotels of their bosses, the Orange Hotel provided the chauffeurs with adequate room and board. 

Also, traveling ministers, musicians, factory workers, and black soldiers patronized the hotel. One of the most notable patrons of the Orange Hotel was musical legend B. B. King. In addition to B.B. King, The Carolina Stompers, then a popular music group, would often stay at the Orange Hotel when in town to play for both black and white audiences. The Orange Hotel is the last surviving early wood frame hotel in Wilson.

The Location

The City of Wilson, located 40 minutes east of downtown Raleigh at the intersection of I-95 and US Highway 264, is the 18th largest municipality in North Carolina, the county seat, and the historic banking heart of the eastern part of the state. Wilson, a center for manufacturing, a hub for pharmaceutical companies, boasts some of the fastest internet speeds in the country, and on-demand public transit. In recent years, Wilson has experienced a downtown renaissance with a number of new public and private real estate investment. Some of the area highlights include:

  • Downtown Residential, including 5 mixed-use redevelopment projects (Nash Street Lofts, Furniture Lofts, Whirligig Station, Blue Bird Apartments, and Wilson Renaissance Center) totaling 166 market-rate and 16 affordable units
  • A planned 60-Unit Workforce Housing and Park Development (Pender Place and Pender Park)
  • Centro; a five-story, mixed-use development currently under construction. The project includes 11,000 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space with 240 upper story apartments
  • A planned new construction 24-unit Townhome project
  • A newly constructed, 73,000 sq. ft. 3-story YMCA
  • Whirligig Park; a major tourist attraction and home of the largest collection of North Carolina’s official folk art (Vollis Simpson’s Whirligigs)
  • A brewery and several new bars and restaurants
  • A new 20,000 sq. ft. home for Wilson’s Arts Council
  • A planned redevelopment of the historic Cherry Hotel into a 100-room Marriott
  • A newly constructed 95,000 sq. ft., 3-story Truist Bank building
  • A newly constructed 700-space parking deck
  • Gig East Exchange co-working space
  • Approximately 30 active property redevelopment and public infrastructure improvement projects

Key Location Assets

  • Home of Barton University
  • Major employers include: Truist Bank, Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Facility, The Wilson Medical Center, ST Wooten Corporation, Smithfield Packing Company
  • Other assets include: 5 Pharmaceutical companies, 2 corporate parks, a thriving Arts scene including 5 museums and art galleries, Amtrack (New York to Florida corridor), Gillete Park, and City-owned utilities
  • County Population of 80,000+ and city population of 50,000.
  • Plentiful water supply

To download a copy of the Orange Hotel Request For Proposal (RFP), please click here.