Union Station was a railroad terminal when it opened in 1900. Its sole purpose was passenger transportation operating on eight different railroads. The station was built west of downtown Nashville through a natural railroad cut that most of the tracks were routed through. It also served street cars until its discontinuance in 1941.
It has become a Nashville monument mainly due to its incredible architecture. The station is an example of late-Victorian Romanesque Revival architecture and closely resembles the look of a castle. The tower originally housed a mechanical digital clock until it was replaced later with a traditional analog clock. Something else to note is the tower once had a bronze stature of the Roman god Mercury before it toppled in a storm in 1951.
Its peak was during World War II when it transported thousands of troops out of Nashville for deployment. Shortly after its long decline became inevitable due to the decline of train transportation everywhere. The station fell into the custody of the United States Government’s General Services Administration, which struggled for years to find a viable redevelopment plan as the station declined further.
The sentimentally appeal of the building among Nashville residents stopped many redevelopment plans unless the main terminal was untouched. Finally, investors made an announcement that the historic station would be made into a luxury hotel; the plan passed.
Union Station to this day is still used as a hotel for many of the cities tourists. It stands as symbol of Nashville’s past and future. It can be seen from Nashville’s interstates and much of the downtown surrounding it!