First Look: The Louis Hotel Opens in Wilson, Arkansas

In 2010, the entrepreneur Gaylon Lawrence Jr. had preservation in mind when he set to work on a makeover of Wilson, Arkansas, which became a ghost town after the Depression hit and the cotton industry dried up. The Louis Hotel is the latest addition to a roster of openings over the past few years, including White’s Mercantile, Wilson Cafe, and the Delta School. The inn—named after a Wilson resident’s late, gregarious French bulldog—just opened on the square as the town’s first place to stay the night. Set among Tudor-style buildings, the sixteen-room boutique space nods to Wilson’s history at every turn. “We wanted to speak to the cotton culture of the town, so we’ve layered in an industrial feel but kept it warm and comfortable,” says interior designer Jennifer Kleen of FODA Design, which led the project. “This place is going to be such a jewel because it will bring people in and give them a place to stop, rest, and take in the town instead of just passing through.”

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