The Commercial Hotel

The Commercial Hotel

An elegant hotel born before the Civil War

Today, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum dominates the block that runs parallel to 5th Avenue, sharing its space with a bus station. However, during the 19th century, this block had many more buildings, including the Commercial Hotel.

The Commercial Hotel opened in 1866; before the Civil War the site was still a hotel, but it was called the Verandah and was under different management. In 1870, the Commercial Hotel was described in a guide book, written by Charles Edwin Robert, for the convenience of businessmen. He described the hotel as a comfortable place to stay that featured 40 rooms and other facilities, like bridal suites and a billiards parlor; home-cooked meals were available for guests. Despite the praise the Commercial Hotel garnered in business directories and guide books, one visiting Union soldier, Edmund Kirke, complained that the hotel was insect-ridden and unsuitable for habitation.

The block surrounding the hotel was full of businesses in the 19th century, including a barber shop in or near the hotel. According to an 1877 map of Nashville, the area near the Commercial Hotel also had a liquor and cigar shop; other local sites included a dental office on Cherry Street, the Hines School, and Union Chapel. It is uncertain what happened to the building; however, it no longer stands in Nashville.