Peabody Hotel Memphis, Tennessee

When the Peabody Hotel was completed in 1925, it was the largest and most elegant hotel in the south. It is a fine example of the opulence, grandeur, and complexity which characterized the era of the grand hotel.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
278838
Names
Peabody Hotel
Address
149 Union Ave
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Coordinates
35.1426650° N, 90.0518100° W
Dates
1925

Location Map

Map showing the location of Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tennessee. (Note: The address shown in the upper-left panel is sometimes inaccurate.) Click here to view larger.

Aerial View

Aerial view of Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tennessee. (Note: The address shown in the upper-left panel is sometimes inaccurate.) Click here to view larger.

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Timeline

1925
Construction of Peabody Hotel
14 Sep 1977
Peabody Hotel added to National Register of Historic Places
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National Register Data

Peabody Hotel has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the following information. Note: some of this data may have become outdated since the listing date. View full NRHP data →

National Register ID
77001290
Date Listed
19770914
Name
Peabody Hotel
Address
149 Union Ave.
City/Town
Memphis
County
Shelby
State
Tennessee
Category
building
Creators
Ahlschlager, Walter W.
Level of Significance
state
Years of Significance
1925
Areas of Significance
COMMERCE; ARCHITECTURE; SOCIAL HISTORY

National Register Significance Summary

The Hotel Peabody, located in downtown Memphis and known to generations of travelers and local residents as "the South's Finest-One of America's Best," was for over fifty years the symbolic center of the social, cultural, and commercial life of the MidSouth region. Completed in 1925, it was the largest and most elegant hotel in the south and represents the area's finest example of the opulence, grandeur, and complexity which characterized the era of the grand hotel.

In 1923 ground was broken for the new twelve-story, 625 rooms, $5 million structure which was to occupy the entire block between Union Avenue, Second and Third Streets and an un-named alley between Union and Gayoso Streets. Built to replace the old Peabody which had stood at Main and Monroe Streets since 1869, both hotels were named for financier George Peabody, who had been a close friend of founder Robert Campbell Brinkley.

With its grand opening ball in 1925, the new hotel quickly established a reputation as the center of social life for the entire region... more →

National Register Description Summary

The Hotel Peabody, completed in 1925, occupies the entire block bounded by Union Avenue, Second and Third Streets and an un-named alley in downtown Memphis. Designed by the architectural firm of Walter W. Ahlschlager, Inc., it was the largest and most elegant hotel in the South and for fifty years was the symbolic center of the social, cultural, and commercial life of the Mid-South region.

Architecturally, the Peabody represents the finest example in the region of the opulence, grandeur, and complexity which characterized the era of the grand hotel. Rising 12 stories on its 320' x 190' site, the building contains 625 guest rooms, has a total volume of 5,750,000 cubic feet; and was constructed at a cost of $5 million.

The overall building style may be best described as Italian Renaissance Revival. Wrapping around the northeast, southeast, and northwest sides is a two-story base faced with grey terra cotta block and crowned with a buff terra cotta balustrade and decorative urns. Five metal entrance marquees, two on Union Avenue and one on each of the other sides, mark the entrances into the main lobby... more →