To appreciate the unique history of Nashville’s Union Station, you need to turn back the clock to the steam train era – when travel was considered exotic and passengers dressed in their “Sunday Best” would gather in huge terminals with soaring Victorian architecture, ornate wood carvings and Italian marble. Pulsing locomotives hissed on the platforms, as heavy-voiced conductors shouted, “All aboard!”.
At one time, the shed covered up to 10 trains at a time for passenger loading/unloading and the track level held two alligator ponds. During railroading’s glory years, the Union Station saw famous ‘celebrities’ such as movie starlet Mae West and Mafia kingpin Al Capone – who was escorted through the station on his way to Georgia penitentiary. Union Station was built for large crowds and an even larger image of prosperity.
Historic features you’ll find in this downtown Nashville hotel which are truly special include:
- Heavy-stone Richardsonian-Romanesque design
- Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977
- A 65-foot, barrel-vaulted lobby ceiling, featuring gold-leaf medallions and 100-year-old, original Luminous Prism stained glass
- Marble floors, oak-accented doors and walls, and three limestone fireplaces
- 20 gold-accented bas-relief angel of commerce figurines
- Two bas-relief panels – a steam locomotive and horse-drawn chariot – at each end of the lobby
This is the legacy of Union Station…..now a splendidly restored 19th-century railroad station that has been reborn into one of Nashville’s premier historic hotels. Union Station began its new life as a luxury boutique hotel in December 1986, and was re-dedicated on October 9, 2007 after an $11 million dollar renovation. Today, the hotel boasts 125 uniquely decorated guest rooms and suites, a Forbes 4 star restaurant, elegantly-appointed event space that reflects the station’s vibrant past, and outstanding amenities and service.
You too can re-live this era…if only for a night or two. Visit Nashville and see all the music and history the city has to offer!
Fun Excursions In A Box Guide: Nashville