Russell Street Church

Historic Church Repurposed for a Modern Audience

A boutique hotel still serves as a gateway to the past.

The Russell Street Church, located in 819 and 901 Russell Street, first opened its doors in 1905. The Russell Street Church of Christ was one of the most influential churches in East Nashville, and its members established many other prominent East Nashville houses of worship, including the Madison Church of Christ. Its sanctuary was used as a hospital for the sick during the 1918 flu pandemic.

In 1998, the structure was severely damaged by the tornado that ripped through much of Nashville’s east side. The church’s congregation was unable to pay for repairs and took to meeting in member’s homes. The congregation sold their structure to a local real estate developer in 1998.

After being purchased by Powell Architecture and Design Studio for $1.9 million, The Russell Street Church once again opened its doors to the public in 2019, this time as a hotel shortening its name to “The Russell.” The Russell maintained several parts of the original building, including the stained-glass windows and bricks. The church pews have been reused as headboards. The boutique hotel operates under the slogan “Stay Here, Change Lives,” and the administration donates a portion of the proceeds to homeless ministries in East Nashville.