Robert Hall Wins Community Appearance Commission Award

Robert Hall Wins Community Appearance Commission Award

We are so excited to announce that Robert Hall has been selected as the recipient of the Joseph Winston Award from the Community Appearance Commission (CAC) of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County! 

The CAC is a 15-member advisory board appointed by the Winston-Salem City Council and Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. The CAC was formed in 1989 and aims to enhance the visual quality and aesthetic character of Forsyth County and the City of Winston-Salem for residents and visitors for generations to come. 

CAC awards are given to projects, places, individuals, or organizations in our community that:

  • Contribute significantly to the improvement of community appearance
  • Exhibit a high standard of excellence in design
  • Preserve or restore desirable natural features of the site or area
  • Develop a noteworthy process of community in involvement, which has brought about an improvement in the character and appearance of the community

The Robert Hall project has been a passion project for Christy and Will Spencer for the last four and a half years. The rehabilitation of the building that sits at 874 N. Liberty Street in the Industry Hill neighborhood of Winston-Salem began with the idea of welcoming an independent brewery to the back portion of the space (which abuts 9th Street) and building out a series of Airbnb accommodations in the front. 



The couple broke ground in 2018 and the brewery opened in January of 2020. The Airbnb build, however, came to a halt in March of 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spencers took time to reevaluate how to best move forward and decided to keep going with the Airbnb concept and turn the rest of the space into a private event venue. The Airbnb accommodations—known collectively as The Huntley House—opened in April 2022, while the first event was held inside Robert Hall just five months later. 

The building that houses Robert Hall has seen its fair share of iterations since the early 1900s. At the turn of the 20th century it got its start as a doctor’s office, then a cafe. In the mid-1930s, it belonged to Coe & Hartman Signs (once one of the largest sign shops in the Southeast). After that, it was home to a fabrication shop owned by the Spencer’s late friend, Bob McCormick. It was important to both Christy and Will to honor the heritage of the building and the entrepreneurs who built their businesses there through the style and design of the space.



The interior’s original, industrial-feel radiates throughout the private event spaces, while mementos (including neon signage and fabrication equipment) left by previous owners have been refurbished and displayed to offer glimpses into the building’s past. The Huntley House—named in honor of B.F. Huntley, Sr., the namesake of one of the biggest furniture companies born in Winston-Salem and Will’s great-grandfather—has been meticulously curated with family heirlooms and new “old” treasures that pay homage to the Twin City’s role in the furniture industry.

The facade of the building is original to the early 1900s—the brick work and character remain intact. A new roof, windows, doors, charming awnings, and planter boxes were added to elevate the building’s exterior. The 1960s one-story brick building that sat adjacent to 874 N. Liberty Street was torn down and replaced with a beautiful patio space. The patio now features two outdoor fireplaces, beautiful trees and landscaping, and a wishing well that was discovered on the grounds during renovation.



The northern edge of downtown Winston-Salem was once a very thriving business district, but it declined into urban blight between the 1950s and 1980s. Will was responsible for the first renovation the area had seen in 30 years when he built an addition onto the 1927 Booe building at 876 N. Liberty Street in 1986. Since then, he and Christy have introduced a number of revitalization projects to the area—including the opening of The Winston Cup Museum in 2005. 

Robert Hall has energized the 800-block of North Liberty Street and become a cornerstone to the entire Industry Hill neighborhood plan. We are so honored to have been chosen for the CAC’s Joseph Winston Award for the eclectic and thoughtful adaptive reuse of a historical building in our community.