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We're back from Tennessee and going through our pages of notes and hundreds of photos. One of our favorite things about Nashville is how the denizens of Music City have repurposed lots of its historical buildings into shops, restaurants, and hotels. Later on today, we'll be posting about Imogene+Willie, which is the store to go to in town, but we wanted to show you Union Station Hotel too—a train station opened downtown in 1900 and became a hotel in 1986.
Almost all the fixtures and decorations in the lobby (except for the floor) are original and carefully restored—even the arrivals and departures board behind the front desk is original, it was just restored and repainted.
The hotel is steeped in history—both wholesome and notorious. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the station in 1934, and drew a crowd of 10,000 on the front steps—which has since been enclosed and often serves as a reception room for weddings. Mae West passed through the station around 1930, on her way to play a local theater; and Al Capone traveled through the station on his way to a Georgia prison in 1934.
These days, the doors that once led to the tracks lead to valet and self-parking. And the men's lounge—complete with original stained glass and fireplace—serves as a meeting room for conferences.
· Union Station Hotel [Official Site]