Take a look at the article below by Regina Cole of Forbes about The Russell and its unique take to rejuvenating spaces:
“There’s Room For Saints And Sinners At This Converted Nashville Church
Visitors to Music City have a new lodging option: The Russell is a historic East Nashville church that has been resurrected into a 23-room hotel. Named for its location at Russell Street and 9th Avenue, it is located in one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, one mile east of downtown.
“East Nashville is known for its quirky vibe and buzzing restaurants 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.”
Powell Architecture & Building Studio led the design of the space. The Nashville-based firm incorporated the work of more than a dozen local independent makers and artists into the design, and used as many of the former church’s fittings as possible. The lobby, in particular, shows off the preserved architectural features including two enormous stained-glass windows, exposed beams and a sweeping 40-foot-tall ceiling. The auditorium and classrooms were converted into 23 colorful guestrooms and suites, with hues drawn from those 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 crafted one-of-a-kind touches, including brightly colored tile and arched bathroom mirrors.
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: 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 check in and out using their cell phones and features a digital concierge.
“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 the homeless.”
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.