Posted on February 5, 2020
This hotel was formerly a railroad station. The building was intended to be used as a stopping point for the railroad workers. However, it would be converted into a hotel in 1986. They did this because it was a well-known building and part of the city. It is a beautiful place to be and stay, however, it has a darker side that you might not know about. Paranormal activity, poltergeist, and so much more.
It was the way to go. Traveling by railway was the thing to do. It was considered special and people would wear their best clothing to ride on a train. People would stop at the stations and they would also be grand and beautiful. They were to resemble something more modern and beautiful.
Rail travel was popular and during this time it saw many famous people. There was a lot of glamour that had passed through this station. From movie star Mae West to the notorious gangster Al Capone. Al Capone was escorted through this railway on his way to the penitentiary.
The Union Station would be opened to everyone in October of 1900. It was a Gothic-style and late Victorian Revival building. It would have lofty towers and turrets. It was a great testament to the United States. This building was known for its ingenuity and it would provide excitement for the new century.
The station was used for running mal and transporting mail for about three decades. The post office was built adjacent to the station so that they could do just that.
The station was also used during the peak of World War II. This was a time when the most traffic would go in and out of the station. It would serve as a shipping point. It would ship out troops. It was also the site of a USO canteen. The decline of the station started in the 60s when railway wasn’t a huge thing anymore.
As you guessed it, travel by railway was not a huge thing forever. After railway travel was abandoned, so was the station. It fell into a state of disrepair. The use of trains through this station had been discontinued in 1979. This meant that the station had no one in or out of it. The building was also known as a national landmark. It was named in 1977. This is why the building had tugged on the hearts of so many Nashville citizens. They wanted to keep this building and incorporate it with the buildings of today.
Keep in mind that in 1971 the station would only have a single train. It was known as the Floridian. It would travel to Chicago, Miami, and St. Petersburg. When the station’s services were discontinued, it ended 120 years of rail service that has happened in Nashville. After this, the large features would be a home for pigeons and not much more for several years. Plus, the open spaces would be roped off and not used.
When the station had closed, the United States would gain custody of it. They would struggle for several years to make a viable redevelopment plan for the station. During this time the station was declining. The locals would reject any plans that would not keep the main building.
The property was vacant until 1986. This is when a group of investors had been working together to turn this area into a very luxurious hotel. They wanted 12 suites and 125 rooms. The hotel plant was using the base of junk bond financing. Their interest payments had been very high. They were so high that it would require the hotel to have ninety percent of their rooms filled with each room costing about 135 dollars a night. This wasn’t something that could be supported. Nashville was not ready for this. This is why the project would go bankrupt fairly quickly. The future of the Union Station was questioned again. However, a new group would purchase the hotel during its bankruptcy stage. They would operate profitably without charging high room rates or even having such high occupancy.
The problem was for the owner to find a use for the land that is adjacent to the hotel. This was a train shed. It was one of the largest in the world of its kind at the time. It was considered to be a masterpiece of engineering. However, the structure would continue to deteriorate. There were several plans that were suggested. One plan was to raise this to the level of the street and use it as a farmer’s market. This never happened. It was in 1996 that fire had seriously damaged this area and in 2000 it was demolished due to lack of a decent preservation plan.
Since the site was converted into a hotel in 1986, there have been many renovations. The first would occur in 2007 and would cost around eleven million dollars. Another 1.9 million was used to upgrade the hotel in 2012. This was when Marriot had purchased the hotel. It was in 2014 that Pebblebrook had purchased the station for over fifty million. They had done renovations that cost just over fifteen million.
The Hotel Today
The hotel has not gotten rid of much of the history. You can walk into the doors and still see several things from the past. You can still see the heavy stone design, gold-leaf medallions, stained glass that is over 100 years old, and much more. The hotel also has limestone fireplaces, marble floors, and a lot of the original oak-accented items.
The hotel is no longer a place for just passing through. It is a destination that many people want to end up. It has modern touches with old nostalgic history. The hotel has 125 guest rooms. Each room is decorated uniquely. There is a restaurant and bar on-site.
There are many stories that surround the Union Station that is located in Nashville. Some stories have been passed down from generation to generation and others are new. One of the most common stories includes a young woman who has the name, Abigail.
Many people state that her spirit is in room 711 of the hotel. This room is different than any other room in the entire building. Each piece of decor has been handpicked. This is because they have a permanent guest, Abigail. This is her home and they want her to feel that way.
It is said that during World War II, Abigail had come to this stop. She came here to say goodbye to her boyfriend or husband before he would be shipped off to France. When the war ended, she returned to that spot to meet him. However, he never returned home.
It was at this time that she decided she couldn’t live without him and she had thrown herself in front of a train on the tracks.
Abigail is known for roaming the halls. People say that she is searching for her lover that is lost. However, room 711 is one that she has claimed as her own. This is where people hear her the most. People who have stayed in this room have always reported strange happenings and noises. People say that they hear a phone ringing, however, no phones are ringing. Lights have been known to turn on and off. One person had stayed in the room and it sounded like furniture was being moved on the ceiling. This floor also had mirrors at one point, however, people who have taken pictures often will see a silhouette. People may not always see her but they can feel her.
Even though she is there, she is not mean. She just wants to make herself known. It is believed that she likes room 711 so that she can see the train tracks.