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Posts Tagged ‘National Register of Historic Places’

While w would have loved to stay at the posh Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, TN we did  scurry ourselves over there to witness the daily parade of ducks as they make their way to the fountain in the lobby, as they have every day since the 1930s!
Peabody Hotel BookThe place was an absolute madhouse of families and tourists all lined up on the red carpeted path from the penthouse elevator to the fountain, but it was fun to be part of this tradition. We managed to catch a quick glimpse of a duck butt or two as they waddled quickly to their aquatic destination, and I could not help but laugh at how quickly it was over. We did catch a glimpse of the elevator that takes the ducks from their penthouse suite to the lobby, and lo and behold, there’s an egg.

The Peabody Duck Egg Memphis TN

We decided to return to the Peabody later in the day when it wasn’t so crowded, and I’m glad I was able to get some shots of this glorious downtown hotel. As well as the ducks, up close and personal.

Here’s the beautiful centerpiece of the lobby, the Italian travertine marble fountain where the ducks swim daily:

Fountain at Peabody Hotel Memphis TN

And a closeup of the webfooted fiends and their little friends:

Peabody Ducks and Kids

So how did this tradition of the Peabody Duck March of the ducks start?

Funny enough it started with the General Manager returning from a hunting trip and thinking it would be funny to leave their live duck decoys in the fountain (much to the delight of guests). This tradition was given the added pomp and circumstance of the march when a bellman – who happened to be an ex-animal trainer for the circus was put in charge of the ducks. He trained the ducks to march (more like scurry) to the fountain to the strains of the Sousa King Cotton March and it has been a tradition at 11am and 5pm ever since.

This has also become a tradition at the Peabody hotels in Orlando and Little Rock.

Now onto the hotel!

The Peabody Hotel we see today was built in 1925, continuing the tradition and history of The Peabody hotel that had been on a different location in Memphis from 1869-1923. Built in an Italian Renaissance style it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Peabody Hotel Lobby

A destination in its heyday, The Peabody was famous for it’s rooftop “Skyway” venue – one of just three national locations for live radio broadcasts during the 1930s and 1940s.

Peabody Hotel Skyway Postcard ebay mikeleach

I may sound like a broken record when I remind readers of the dark times that many of these historic downtowns went through in the 1960s and 1970s, and Memphis was no exception. The Peabody closed down in 1975 but then was luckily saved and restored, to once again serve the public in 1981.The reopening of The Peabody is considered by many to have been a major inspiration for the downtown revitalization that continues to this day in Memphis.

One of the many interesting thing to note about the Peabody is that it has 13 floors – not a particularly lucky number to many. Because superstition is so strong about this number in many hotels, the Peabody has replaced the number 13 in their elevators with the letter S – for Skyway. Bad luck avoided!

House Phone

So if you’re in the mood for some silly swimmers or a swanky swig at the Grand Lobby Bar (named by Esquire as a Top Ten Best Watering Hole in America) waddle on over to the Peabody!

The Peabody Hotel
49 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 529-4000

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Union Station in downtown Nashville TN is one of a handful of beautiful old train stations converted into hotel space (remember the Lackawanna Train Station Hotel in Scranton we went to a few months back?) Built in 1900 it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. It’s quite a grand sight along popular Broadway in Downtown Music City USA.

Union Station Hotel Nashville TN Exterior
While RetroRoadhusband and I were not able to stay at Union Station the folks there were very gracious in letting me snap a few photos, and gave me some brochures detailing the amenities of this luxury Wyndham Grand Hotel (also one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s designated Historic Hotels). You can tell the scale of the architecture by just looking at how dwarfed RetroRoadhusband is when compared to the fireplace and clock above!

Union Station Nashville TN Fireplace (more…)

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While doing some research for my fave local theater, The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville PA I came across a cool website called Another Old Movie Blog sharing the news that The Colonial Theatre in Canaan CT is for sale. If you’ve ever wanted your very own movie house, here’s your chance!

Colonial Theatre Canaan CT AnotherOldMovieBlog(October 2010 photo courtesy of Another Old Movie Blog)

Blog owner Jacqueline T Lynch writes:

Built in 1923, this old movie house is on the National Register of Historic Places. Weathering the decades and changes in film, and audience, the Colonial was closed in 1997, but later re-opened to include live theatre as well as movies.

Have a look here at this website more photos, including the nifty interior, and at this website for more history on this theater. Hopefully somebody will see possibilities for the future while respecting its past.

Thanks Jacqueline for bringing this to our attention – perhaps there’s someone out there who wants to own a little theatre in this cute little corner of Connecticut.

The Colonial Theatre
27 Railroad Street
Canaan, CT 06018
(860) 824-4488

Take a look at the street view of The Colonial Theatre to check out the charming downtown of Canaan with its green striped awnings and vintage sign at Mahaiwe Jewelry right next door to the theater. Here’s a link to a photo of the Mahaiwe Jewelry sign from the awe-inspiring roadside photographs of Debra Jane Seltzer.

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