Pulling Back the Curtain: Touring Historic Hotels

Anthony Patrina, duckmaster at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis

Anthony Patrina, Duckmaster at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.

I am the first to admit that my area of research is loaded with perks. One of the best is getting personal behind-the-scenes tours of historic hotels by people who are passionate about history, architecture, and good stories. I will always be indebted to those who have generously shared their time and knowledge with me.

If a tour is something that interests you, I recommend asking the concierge at working hotels about organizing one. I get the impression that many of the properties give them regularly or at minimum have brochures that inform a self-guided tour. The Peabody Hotel is the only one I know that offers daily tours, 11:30 am-12pm. I can attest that Anthony Patrina, the Duckmaster, gives a wonderful tour! For more information, see the Peabody’s website.

Roof terrace of Peabody Hotel. The plantation facade masks the true function of the building - housing mechanical equipment

Plantation Roof. The plantation facade masks the true function of the building – housing mechanical equipment as well as the “duck palace” (Peabody Hotel)

Duck Palace (Peabody Hotel)

Duck Palace (Peabody Hotel)

Carolyn Cherry and Chris Rice of Crocker Construction

Carolyn Cherry and Chris Rice of Crocker Construction, owner of New Southern Hotel and Neely House, in Jackson

Lobby and mezzanine level of the New Southern Hotel, today an event space, in Jackson.

Lobby and mezzanine level of the New Southern Hotel, today an event space, in Jackson.

Original section of molding for mezzanine level of New Southern Hotel

Original section of molding for mezzanine level. (New Southern Hotel).

Plaster molding used to restore mezzanine level (New Southern).

Recast plaster molding used to restore mezzanine level. Crocker Construction did all of its own plaster work while restoring the building (New Southern Hotel).

Detail of mezzanine ceiling with the repaired plaster (New Southern Hotel).

Detail of mezzanine ceiling with the painted, recast plaster  – notice the acanthus leaves seen in the original section of molding and the faces shown above (New Southern Hotel).

Stained glass skylight in lobby of Union Station Hotel in Nashville.

Stained glass skylight in lobby of Union Station Hotel in Nashville

Climbing over the stained glass skylight to get to the clock tower (Union Station Hotel).

Climbing over the stained glass skylight to get to the clock tower (Union Station Hotel).

Climbing the clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

Climbing the clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

View from clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

View from clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

Descending the clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

Descending the clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

Exterior of clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

Exterior of clock tower (Union Station Hotel)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: