Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Peabody Hotel Is 140 Years Old Today!

The Peabody is naturally excited and twittering all over the place about their anniversary celebration today in the lobby. Cake and champagne for all! 4:45 - 6pm. http://twitter.com/Peabodymemphis

Some Peabody Hotel history:

The hotel opened September 1, 1869 at Main and Madison. In 1925 it moved to it's current location at 149 Union.

What is currently now the "Plantation Roof" was once the "Moroccan Roof" made to look like a village of that North African country.

The Samovar Room had a 2 foot tall Russian samovar as its centerpiece and inspiration.

The Poodle Dog Grill room was located in the lower basement.

The hotel's original three ducks were named Chisca, Peabody and Gayoso after the three hotels the Memphis Hotel Company owned and operated. The ducks today are no longer named.

The hotel, in its current location, originally had 12 stories but grew to 13 stories with the addition of the elegant Skyway. The elevator button for the thirteenth floor is not labeled as "13" but rather "S" for Skyway, or is that "S" for superstition?

The Bernini-inspired fountain in the Grand Lobby in which those lucky ducks float about was carved from a single massive piece of travertine marble.

The 1981 re-opening of the hotel marked the beginning of downtown's revitalization.

Happy Anniversary to the South's Grand Hotel. Thank you for giving generations of Memphians great memories of proms, parties, weddings, concerts, holidays, duck marches, afternoon teas, brunches, rooftop parties and so much more.