A hundred fifty years ago, factories and public buildings were built out of handmade bricks and rough-hewn granite; utilitarian for the times, but considered works of art now. In the 1960s, many of these beautiful structures were blasted into oblivion and replaced with uninspiring urban renewal projects, and the trend would have continued had historic preservationists not stepped in to halt the destruction. But what to do with these magnificent empty buildings? Readapt them to fit the current interest in destination hotels. For luxury vacationers these days, cookie-cutter is out and one-of-a-kind is in.
And so this year’s fall travel feature presents those buildings with interesting, idiosyncratic, or industrial former lives, polished and luxed-up for sophisticated travelers. Also included on this list are iconic hotels and resorts, beloved by generations of travelers, which have reopened after years of renovations.