A historic East Nashville church is being resurrected as a lodging hotspot in one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods. The Russell—aptly named for its location at Russell Street and 9th Avenue—is now accepting reservations for its 23 guestrooms.
“East Nashville is known for its quirky vibe and buzzing restaurant and nightlife, and The Russell is the perfect place to stay to take it all in,” said Micah Lacher of Anchor Investments, which developed the property.
“The outside looks like the original church building did in 1904, but inside guests will discover inviting, modern accommodations with subtle nods to the building’s religious roots.”
The lobby in particular shows off plenty of the preserved architectural features including two massive stained-glass windows, exposed beams and a sweeping 40-foot-tall ceiling. The auditorium and classrooms were converted into 23 splendidly-colored guestrooms and suites with paint colors drawn from those of the vivid palette of the stained glass.
The church’s pews have been upcycled to form contemporary headboards, and handmade church-style pendants hang from the lobby walls paying homage to legends like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. Local artists were employed to craft one-of-a-kind touches like brightly colored tile, arched bathroom mirrors and more.
The transformation from religious site to boutique hotel included repurposing the church’s bell tower into a stunning suite that boasts an interior balcony with Instagram-worthy views of the stained glass.
The Russell caters to the digital age and guests can snap a photo in the lobby Smile Booth or record themselves in the in-house podcasting studio. Additionally, The Russell allows guests to easily check in and out using their cell phones and features a digital concierge.
Part of the allure is the walkability to venture out and explore East Nashville’s vices. Located in one of Nashville’s oldest neighborhoods, The Russell is steps from such hot spots as Stay Golden Restaurant & Roastery and Edley’s Bar-B-Que. Other local favorites include The Basement East for live music, Butcher & Bee for a fantastic meal, and dozens of other shops, bars and restaurants.
“Here at The Russell we emphasize experiencing the local culture and, in doing so, giving back to the community,” said Lacher. “Each night’s stay supports local non-profit organizations that provide resources to Nashvillians experiencing homelessness.”
The average weekend stay is equal to 16 meals and warm beds for homeless individuals in the area. The Russell is projected to donate more than $100,000 toward non-profits in its first year of operation.