The Railroad Beginnings of Our Historic Nashville Hotel

To understand the unique history of Nashville’s Union Station, you need to turn back the clock to a grander era – when travel was truly exotic and passengers dressed in their “Sunday Finest” would gather in huge terminals with soaring Victorian architecture, ornate wood carvings and Italian marble. Pulsing locomotives hissed on the platforms, as rubber-throated conductors shouted, “All aboard!”.

Guests traveling to downtown Nashville can revisit those elegant, bygone days at the Union Station Hotel, a splendidly restored 19th-century railroad station that has been reborn into one of Nashville’s premier historic hotels.

Construction for the railway station began on August 1, 1898, and it was officially opened on Oct. 9, 1900 to great fanfare. The building’s imposing Gothic design – featuring lofty turrets and towers – was a testament to U.S. ingenuity and energy. The Train Shed was once the largest unsupported span in America, housing up to 10 full trains at once. During railroading’s glory years, the station saw characters such as movie starlet Mae West and Mafia kingpin Al Capone – who was escorted through the station on his way to Georgia penitentiary. At one time, the track level also held two alligator ponds.

The 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 has completed another $15.5 million dollar renovation and boasts 125 uniquely decorated guest rooms and suites, Carter’s Bar and Restaurant and elegantly-appointed event spaces that reflect the station’s vibrant past, while providing the outstanding amenities and service that has made Union Station the crown jewel of Nashville’s historic hotels.

Historic features that make our downtown Nashville hotel truly special, include:

  • Heavy-stone Richardsonian-Romanesque design
  • Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977
  • 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

Showcasing exquisite architecture, historic Southern charm, and first-class service, Union Station is an inspired choice among hotels in Nashville, TN. Our downtown location near Broadway is also blocks from the city’s renowned attractions, including Music City Center, world-famous HonkyTonk Row, Bridgestone Arena, and Ryman Auditorium.

Reserve your next stay at the Union Station, an unmatched destination among Nashville historic hotels.