Union Station Hotel
Union Station just after completion in 1900
Soldiers on furlough buying tickets at Union Station during WWII
The exterior of the Union Station Hotel today
Interior view of the Union Station Hotel
An old Arrivals and Departures board over the lobby desk of the Union Station Hotel
1970 Historic American Building Survey Photograph
Backstory and Context
The terminal serviced many passengers in its over seven decades of existence, including celebrities as diverse as Mae West and Al Capone (Capone was not a voluntary passenger, however, as he was in the process of being transferred to prison by Federal authorities). It also served many soldiers during the Second World War who passed through Nashville, and they were often entertained by local celebrities at the USO canteen on site. The station's decline began in the 1950s, with heavy competition from auto and air transportation; by the 1960s, it served only a few trains a day and in 1975, the station was condemned and closed. Amtrak continued to use the trainshed for passenger traffic until 1979 when the station building was acquired by the General Services Administration for use as a federal office building. After evaluating the cost of a major rehabilitation project, the property was conveyed to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County in 1985 through the Historic Surplus Property Program. In the following years, Union Station was rehabilitated into a hotel and restaurant. The Nashville Union Station and Trainshed was listed as a National Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. Because of the demolition of the trainshed in 2001, the National Historic Landmark status was removed in 2003, but the building continues to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
"Union Station Hotel Nashville, Autograph Collection." Historic Hotels. Accessed March 10, 2015. http://www.historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/union-station-hotel/history.php.
West, Carroll V. "Nashville Union Station." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Accessed March 10, 2015. http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=974.