A Historic Landmark

Over the decades, there have been many who have sought to tear down, rather than preserve, historic structures. Fortunately, The Hermitage Hotel avoided the fate of many older buildings in the late 1970s, when the mayor and concerned citizens of Historic Nashville Inc. launched a campaign to save the property. Their inspiring efforts were fruitful, with the hotel successfully nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. The craftsmanship displayed throughout the hotel is a reminder that preserving history is crucial.

In recognition of the centennial celebration of the 19th amendment, The United States Secretary of the Interior designated The Hermitage Hotel a National Historic Landmark in July of 2020. With this distinction, The Hermitage Hotel proudly joined nearly 2,600 existing landmarks deemed to be nationally significant to the development of our nation, including Mount Vernon, Pearl Harbor, the Apollo Mission Control Center, Alcatraz and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthplace.


Nashville is known far and wide as Music City, and much of that legacy started right here at The Hermitage Hotel. Starting in 1925, Francis Craig led the Francis Craig Orchestra’s engagements at the hotel, playing six days a week during lunch and dinner. Throughout that era, music was integral to the hotel’s identity. In 1947, Nashville had its first hit record – “Near You” by none other than Francis Craig himself. Craig first wrote the lyrics on a menu at The Hermitage Hotel restaurant. Although it wasn’t expected to be a hit at the time, “Near You” went on to sell 2.3 million records, sending shock waves through the music industry.

When that record’s independent producer began signing independent artists across the country, the big record labels took notice. Following the success of “Near You,” names like RCA and Columbia Records were determined to establish a presence in Nashville. Music City’s renown only blossomed from there! Throughout the years, The Hermitage Hotel continued to be of influence within the local music scene. The Nashville Symphony had their first office in the hotel, and the Country Music Association was forged during meetings at The Hermitage in the late 1950s. Elvis himself once serenaded some admirers in the lobby from the Veranda landing!   

In the decades since, we have hosted countless musical icons – from Enrico Caruso, John Phillip Sousa, and Benny Goodman to the Bee Gees and Paul McCartney. Country music stars have always found a special home at The Hermitage, with names like Dolly Parton flocking here during the early 1980s. That legacy continues, as pop stars, rock legends, R&B crooners and rappers have all chosen to lay their head at The Hermitage Hotel when in Nashville.


With proximity to the state Capitol and unparalleled hospitality, The Hermitage Hotel has been a preferred destination for politicians for more than a century. Numerous campaign offices have been located inside the hotel and many inaugural celebrations hosted; it has even been the temporary residence for a number of governors. Mayors of Nashville have frequented the hotel, with numerous speeches given in the lobby and grand ballroom. Presidential visits have been a regular occurrence, starting from the hotel’s earliest days hosting William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. In the decades since, we have hosted John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson and more recently Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.

In August 1920, our historic hotel in downtown Nashville became an infamous backdrop for an embattled mix of pro and anti-suffragists, legislators and lobbyists in the weeks leading up to Tennessee’s vote on the 19th amendment, as The Volunteer State was needed to deliver the 36th and final victory. The intrigue at the hotel was palpable, as women lobbied the men of Capitol Hill across every inch of the hotel. On the eighth floor, the anti-suffragists enticed legislators with free whiskey in a room that came to be known as the “Jack Daniels Suite.” Carrie Chapman Catt, leader of the pro-suffragists and heir apparent to Susan B. Anthony, stayed in a third-floor suite for six weeks and guided the suffragist campaign to victory. Telegrams of congratulations that were delivered to her at The Hermitage are proudly on display in the lobby today!