Union Station, part of massive Nashville Yards Project, gets new look

Nashville 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Union Station, a Nashville Broadway beacon, is where history comes alive.

The Nashville staple first opened its doors in 1900, serving as the city’s central train terminal until the last train ran its tracks in 1979. Then, in 1986, it reopened as a boutique style hotel.

Union Station Lobby in 1960s

“When it opened its doors, fortunately, they were able to save a lot of the artifacts, even though the roof had been falling in, and the floors were unfit for travelers,” Joe Bucher said, Director of Strategic Design and Southwest Value Partners, the developer of the 18-acre Nashville Yards Project.

Decades later, it was time for more change.

Nashville’s historic Union Station Hotel has a new look heading into summer, following months of restorations.

These changes, and more to come, are meant to weave Union Station into the broader Nashville Yards property that will soon transform upper Broadway.

“This has been the hub of Nashville for 120 years,” Bucher said, who bought the building in July of 2020, in an effort to preserve the past and restore the iconic hotel. “Our effort was very much about bringing this hotel back to its glory.”

Bucher said 40 years of grime and buildup is now gone. There’s enhanced landscaping, a new slate roof, and copper accents. The four-story lobby interior was restored to its original color scheme. There’s now enhanced lighting, new lobby furniture, and new spa quality bathrooms in every room.

The last part of the renovations will be opening up the new reimagined lobby bar, adjacent restaurant, and revitalized entrance off of Broadway. We’re told those aspects are set to be completed later this summer.

“When you come in on Broadway, now you should really notice this building as the gateway to downtown,” Bucher said.

Seeing as Union Station is now part of the massive Nashville Yards Project, it will probably be hard to miss.

“We’ve never stopped construction during the last year. During that time, we opened the Grand Hyatt,” Bucher said.

In addition, tower 1 of Amazon’s Center of Excellence is complete with workers moving in shortly. Bucher said it’s the best office building in the city.

Really, it’s just the start of something truly special. Once complete, Nashville Yards will transform upper Broadway into its own mini city, pairing brand new retail, office and entertainment space with Nashville’s old and restored.

“I think we’re all really proud of this building,” Bucher said. “This is part of our history – the history we all share.”

Tennessee 225: Dive into the history of the Volunteer State.

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