Phil Borowski, vice president of franchising for Marriott International, explains details of the project as visitors tour the former boiler room of the historic factory building. The area will become the mechnical room of the 80-plus-room hotel and conference center.
Phil Borowski, vice president of franchising for Marriott International, explains details of the project as visitors tour the former boiler room of the historic factory building. The area will become the mechnical room of the 80-plus-room hotel and conference center.
Local residents and other curiosity seekers got a closer look at the project to renovate an 1800s textile factory in downtown Madison into a boutique hotel overlooking the Ohio River during an open house on Saturday.

The building, long known as the 1884 Eagle Cotton Mill, had sat empty and in decay for several decades until an investment group, Riverton LLC, and a management company, Dora Hospitality, were found to repurpose the structure as a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.

On Saturday guests were allowed to register for tickets online to see progress on the $21 million project that the owners plan to have open by Derby Day 2021.

Ground was broken on the project in September 2019. The three-story, 104,000-square-foot brick structure will provide 80-plus guest rooms and a convention center capable of serving 500 plus other on-site amenities.

The former twine and fabric factory — along with the Tower Tack Factory that is currently being developed as senior housing on the other end of downtown — were two of the larger unoccupied structures in Madison’s massive National Historic Landmark District. Cotton Mill had sat so long and was in such a state of decay that it had been included on Indiana Landmarks’ list of 10 Most Endangered Historic Structures in the state.

John M. Staicer, president & executive director of Historic Madison Inc., was among those who toured the site and was impressed by the work and progress and excited to see the finished product in the spring.

“It just makes me smile,” said Stacier. “Between this and the Tack Factory and the new bridge approach, there are so many neat things happening. I can’t wait to see it.”