Nashville is famous for many things such as music and BBQ, but it is also famous for its rich history. Today, some of Nashville’s most historic places have turned into hotels you can stay in and each of them have a story to tell.
Serving as the city’s first five-million-dollar hotel, The Hermitage Hotel was built in 1901 in a Beaux Art style by noted architect, J.E.R. Carpenter. It is centrally located downtown and because of that, it quickly became the ‘hot spot’ for Nashville socialites, entertainers and politicians. It even housed notable figures such as Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, William Howard Taft, and even Al Capone. Upon opening, the Hermitage Hotel advertised as “fire-proof, noise-proof, and dust-proof, $2.00 and up.” It was designed after Andrew Jackson’s estate, The Hermitage, hence where the hotel received its name. As the hotel grew popularity with the rich and famous, the term “Meet me at the Hermitage” became a well-known city slogan that is still recognized today. These days, The Hermitage Hotel is a AAA Five Diamond Hotel and is Nashville’s only remaining landmark of such early 1900s grandeur.
Union Station was once the largest, unsupported train shed in America, holding up to 10 full trains at once. Opened in 1900, this railroad station was a very popular travel stop for elite passengers and had large terminals with soaring Victorian architecture and Italian marble. The building had a Gothic design and was considered a testament to U.S energy and Ingenuity. The track level of the station even held two alligator ponds! In 1986, Union Station began its new phase in life as a Boutique Hotel. Today, the hotel has 125 uniquely decorated guest rooms, a four-star restaurant, and an event space that glorifies the station’s colorful past. The Union Station Hotel has unique features that keep it true to its name such as a lobby filled with gold-leaf medallions and 100-year-old original Luminous Prism stained glass, marble floors, three limestone fireplaces and a steam locomotive and horse-drawn chariot in the lobby. Located just steps away from Broadway in downtown Nashville, it makes for a great experience along with convenience.
Hotel Indigo is located in Printer’s Alley right in the middle of downtown. The historic buildings that the hotel is in now used to serve as the American Trust Building and the Nashville Trust Building. In 1923, The American Trust Building used to be the tallest building in Nashville, until the building next door, Nashville Trust, decided to add 4 more floors to top it. In 2010, the Hotel Indigo moved into both buildings and decided to keep some of the original heritage, like the original Travertine floors and U.S post drops in the hallways. The lobby is “printer themed” due to the rich history that lies outside (Printers Alley) where back in the day 36 printers and publishers existed. Today, this hotel pays tribute to the history of the bank and printers alley, but also serves as one of the top hotels in Nashville and does not disappoint.
The Homewood Suites is located in what used to be known as “The Doctors Building” which is a historic landmark. Built in 1916, a professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Matthew McGannon, saw the need for the city to have a large building for the rapidly expanding medical community. The building has a renaissance revival theme and the exterior of the building is a show stopper. The most notable features of the exterior are the sheathing of glazed terra cotta wreaths, garlands, urns and lion leads. There are shields along the third story that are based on the Medici family coat of arms which are known as Doctors. The building became a hotel in 2008 and still has the original outside glory today, located on Church St.