Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nashville’s Union Station Hotel Reopened and Rededicated After $10 Million Renovation Project

Nashville’s Union Station Hotel, fresh from a $10 million renovation, marks its grand reopening Oct. 9, exactly 107 years after the Louisville & Nashville Railroad opened the building as a showplace train station.

“We see Oct. 9, 2007, as a rededication of a Nashville treasure,” said Phil Goldfarb, president and chief operating officer of Turnberry Associates, majority owner of the property.

Highlights of the $10 million renovation project involve a complete restoration, cleaning and redressing of the station’s original design and architectural features, including:
  • Delicate accents in the 65-foot lobby, including a polishing of the 128 panels of multi-colored stained glass atop the hotel’s original barrel-vaulted ceiling
  • Addition of an “upscale comfortable” restaurant named Prime 108
  • Installation of a new marble floor in the hotel’s expansive lobby, plus cleaning of the hotel’s original gold-leaf medallions and rare bas-relief sculptures
  • New marble in all bathrooms, and many guestrooms amended with glass-enclosed showers
    A total makeover of all guestrooms—no two of which are exactly alike—including furniture, fixtures and décor
  • Behind-the-scenes modernization of heating, air-conditioning, Internet and other systems
“There was a grand celebration Oct. 9, 1900, that marked Union Station as a major factor in Nashville’s transportation and economic life. This Oct. 9, we put the Union Station Hotel in the spotlight again for its role in Nashville’s hospitality, tourism and meetings industries,” said Mark Bloom, a principal in Nashville-based Corner Partnership, which owns the hotel with Turnberry Associates.

The Union Station Hotel, a Wyndham Historic Hotel and a member of Historic Hotels of America, is one of Nashville’s most identifiable buildings. Many visitors consider it part of a Nashville architectural trifecta that consists of the Union Station Hotel, the nearby Ryman Auditorium and the city’s replica of the Parthenon from ancient Athens.

“The building’s size and Romanesque design are impressive now. We can only imagine what an impact it had when it opened at the turn of the last century,” Bloom said.

It is 247 feet tall from track level to the top of its clock tower, where a statue of Mercury, messenger of the gods and god of roads and travelers, perches.

The architectural and design touches inside are a tribute to artisans of another era. In addition to the signature stained-glass ceiling are large clocks at either end of the lobby, a bas-relief sculpture of an Egyptian pharaoh in a chariot and another bas-relief sculpture of a powerful steam locomotive.

The bas-relief locomotive is No. 108, which inspired the name of the hotel’s new restaurant, Prime 108.

Read more in Hospitality 1st.

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