By Michelle Shocklee
I love historic buildings. You too? When I take a tour or wander freely (my favorite!) through an old building, my imagination goes wild, with dozens of questions filtering through my mind at the speed of light. Who walked where I walked? What's their story? What secrets do the walls hold? And on and on.
|Union Station Hotel (Trip Advisor)|
|Union Station, 1900. Tennessee State Library|
The striking building is built in the architectural style described as Richardson Romanesque. The entire building, designed by Richard Monfort, chief engineer for the L&N, is made of gray stone and marble from right here in Tennessee. The total cost at the turn of the century came to $300,000. I'm not good at math but even I know that would be in the millions of dollars in today's money.
A bronze statue of Mercury, the mythical Roman god of speed, stood atop the clock tower, which housed an early version of a digital clock. Unfortunately the statue was blown off in the 1950s by a tornado.
|Leaving for war, 1943. Tennessee State Library|
|Saying goodbye, 1943. Tennessee State Library|
|Waiting area, 1970. Tennessee State Library|
Michelle Shocklee is the author of several historical novels and is a Selah Awards finalist. Her work has been included in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, magazines, and blogs. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of two grown sons, she makes her home in Tennessee, not far from the historical sites she writes about. Visit her online at michelleshocklee.com.