Welcome to the guest rooms! Hotel 1928 is filled with 33 rooms—including four spacious suites—that were each designed with an intentional approach to honor the original structure of the building, while creating functional spaces for guests to unwind in downtown Waco, Texas.
Throughout the hotel, you’ll find four room typesOpens in new tab—Franklin, Austin, Columbus, and Washington, each named after streets surrounding the hotel. All guest rooms are situated on the second and third floors of the hotel, occupying spaces that were formerly lounges, dining rooms, offices, patios and other rooms used for gathering during the Roaring Twenties.
Below are photos of two spaces from the original building that have since been renovated into guest rooms:
At the start of this project, Chip, Jo, and the team at AJ capital walked through two model guest rooms (including bathrooms) to decide on design direction before starting construction on all 33 units. This was an intentional effort to save time and money—and minimize last-minute tweaks that can occur after seeing renderings brought to life. They landed on a blend of elements from both model rooms—achieving contrast and story, while keeping the overall feel of the spaces warm and subtle.
Upon entering a guest room, you’ll step into a welcoming foyer with walls dressed in the Crosshatch String Wallpaper from Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines crafted by York. Although layouts slightly differ, each entryway includes curated wall art, a floor-length mirror, and plenty of low, moody light.
Jo initially wanted each guest room to have exposed concrete floors (original to the building) and a large area rug where possible. Ten rooms on the second floor warranted concrete flooring, but all guest rooms on the third floor required wall-to-wall carpet to stay compatible with the building’s original design. After a quick pivot, Jo and the team designed a custom carpet with a medallion print resembling an area rug on concrete floors to lay in the carpeted rooms.
All common area rugs in Hotel 1928 are vintage, but the ones Jo chose to lay in the concrete-floored guest rooms are Carlisles from Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines x Loloi.
To add texture to the walls, the team wanted to do something special. They originally pitched adding drywall and/or applied molding concepts to the walls, but went with the French Linen Stripe Wallpaper in Soft Linen by York (coming soon to the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines crafted by York line) to add subtle dimension without altering structure.
Fun fact: Once the bursar’s office, room 205 features a metal safe (formerly used to stow important documents) that has since been transformed into a working closet.
The furniture and decor curated in each room follows a corresponding color story of tonal greens, rust, cognac leather, black, and white. Next to the bed(s) in every room, you’ll find a collection of found vintage and antique accent pieces—plus a functional rotary phone and retro Marshall speaker that each nod to eras past.
The largest group suite in the hotel (Washington) is believed to have been a ceremonial room for the Shriners, due to old cloaks and ritual objects found in storage. Since this space was considered an important and historical group space, the team used custom-made bookcases as dividers to partition sleeping quarters instead of permanently altering the structure with floor-to-ceiling walls.
Similar to the entryways and bedrooms, each guest bathroom repeats the same fixtures and finishes—just in different layouts. After seeing the two model spaces prior to demo day, Jo and the team, again, chose elements they liked from each—landing on green tile for the walls, black crown molding for the ceiling, and marble flooring centered with a basket-weave pattern and the 1928 logo.
To balance the green tile and continue the classic feel, the team went with a black and white palette for the basket-weave floor pattern and Carrara marble for the shower and floor perimeter. The brass fixtures play well with a corresponding rounded, arched vanity mirror flanked by globe lights.
Each room inside Hotel 1928 includes a variety of delightful extras to help encourage some rest and reprieve—like in-room toiletries from Le LaboOpens in new tab and an evening turndown service. At dusk, a hotel team member delivers plush slippers and a carafe of water to every room, then draws the curtains to ensure guests are all set for a good night’s sleep.
Explore the Full Transformation
This project was made possible through tax credits funded by National Park Service and partnership with the following: AJ Capital Partners, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (Krista Weir, Janice Jones, Sophie Bidek, and Andrew Shimanski), The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, CP&Y, Armstrong-Douglass, Hendrix Consulting Engineers, Hospitality House, Pique Technologies, LLC, IMEG Corp., Ryan, and Fitzgerald’s.