Design + Architecture

Hotels With A Past

by Cathay Che

THE SOUTHERN DEPOT: Wyndham Union Station
Where: Nashville, Tennessee
What it is: A 125-room city hotel
What it was: A fine Victorian train station

The story: In the early 1900s, locals would dress in their Sunday best to come gawk at Union Station, a Victorian Gothic Revival structure in the heart of downtown Nashville. The soaring 65-foot barrel-vaulted lobby, marble floors, gold leaf mirrors, Tiffany-style stained glass, and bas-relief sculptures almost made them forget it was a transportation hub. Well, it's not anymore: The station was abandoned in the 1970s, but its placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 meant its survival until a group of investors developed it into a hotel in the 1980s. That stunning lobby is still there, along with marble floors, oak doors, skylights, and limestone fireplaces. This fall and winter, rooms are being upgraded to include flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and luxurious bedding. What would the denizens of turn-of-the-century Nashville have made of that?

Be sure to check out: The fifth-floor interior balcony, for a grand view of the inside of the lobby. The property also offers a self-guided audio tour chronicling the history of the station.

Union Station—A Wyndham Historic Hotel
Tel: 615 726 1001
Doubles from $119

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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