While you may know the Fairview Inn was built in 1908 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there is much more to its over 100 year history that you may realize! Here are eight little-known Fairview facts.
The designer of the Fairview was an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In 1993, an architectural historian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered that Robert Closson Spencer, Jr., who designed the Fairview, was an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright. Not only that, the Fairview is his only known example of the Colonial Revival style. This explains some of the unusual interior features, such as the vaulted ceilings in the foyer and west sunroom of the library, the mission style built-in benches in the foyer and on the stair landing, and the treatment of oak columns in the foyer.
The library (now home of the Library Lounge) is the only room in the house in its original form.
Starting in 1921, the house was remodeled; the east, west, and north wings were raised to two stories and several interior changes were made. This left the oak-paneled library as the only room in the house in its original 1908 form. The library was transformed into the Library Lounge in December of 2012, to host guests and locals for inventive cocktails and delicious food.
The Fairview has hosted many VIP guests.
Celebrities choose the Fairview because of its secluded location, luxurious atmosphere, and intimate space. Over the years, the Fairview has hosted guests including Matthew McConaughey, Emma Stone, Mick Jagger (his favorite room is the French Suite), 90’s star Kirk Cameron, and country music singer Jamey Johnson.
The event space was originally designed to connect two parts of the house.
If you’ve been to a wedding or other event at the Fairview, you’ve probably spent time in the Garden Room. This room wasn’t actually built until 1986. Prior, the carriage house (known to guests now as the breakfast room) was a separate garage space from the main house. The Garden Room was built to connect the two houses.
In the year 2000, the Fairview underwent a major transformation.
On May 8, 2000, construction began on a new addition to contain ten luxurious bedrooms, most with fireplaces and whirlpool spa tubs. A ribbon-cutting was held on February 5, 2001, providing the Fairview with 18 guest accommodations and approximately 25,000 square feet of heated and cooled space.
Just three months after purchasing the Fairview Inn, the Sharps opened a restaurant onsite.
Peter and Tamar Sharp (the current owners) purchased the Fairview in August of 2006 and opened Sophia’s Restaurant in October of the same year. In January of 2014, the Sharps’ retired Sophia’s Restaurant and opened the new and renovated, 1908 Provisions. Six years later, after numerous guest requests, 1908 dinner service moved to the Library Lounge, which also provides an extensive bar selection, and small plates. 1908 Provisions continues to offer pop-up events and hosts private events as well.
The Fairview has some haunted rooms.
In a mansion this old, you’re bound to have some supernatural visitors at times. One guest that seems to linger is a Civil War soldier named Robert, who apparently haunts the Third Floor Suite, located in the Fairview’s old attic space. Housekeepers have seen mop buckets move on their own, and some guests report feeling temperature drops and hearing marbles rolled down the steps.
In 2008, the Sharps completed extensive renovations to the Fairview.
They revamped several guest rooms and public areas, including adding nomiSpa and the Victorian gazebo on the magnolia deck in 2008. The Sharps continue to ensure impeccable upkeep of the property. During the shutdown due to COVID-19 in March through May of 2020, they took the time to renovate the gazebo, redo the carriage room, revamp the lobby bathrooms, and repaint nearly every surface of the inn!