Terminal Station (Chattanooga)

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Terminal Station
Terminal StationChattanooga.jpg
Terminal Station (Chattanooga) is located in Tennessee
Terminal Station (Chattanooga)
Location 1400 Market St., Chattanooga, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°2′13″N 85°18′25″W / 35.03694°N 85.30694°W / 35.03694; -85.30694Coordinates: 35°2′13″N 85°18′25″W / 35.03694°N 85.30694°W / 35.03694; -85.30694
Built 1908
Architect Barber,Don
Architectural style Beaux-Arts
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 73001778[1]
Added to NRHP February 20, 1973

Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a former railroad station, once owned and operated by the Southern Railway, and currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The station is currently operated as the The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[2]


The station was opened in 1909 and was the largest station in Chattanooga's history. The original Chattanooga Union Station, built in 1858, (demolished in 1973) and a second station, built in 1882, were too small to handle the rapid expansion in the railroad network serving Chattanooga.[3]

American railroad passenger traffic declined in the 1950s and 1960s, and the last passenger train to serve the station, the Birmingham Special, from New York City to Birmingham, left Terminal Station in 1970.

Architecture and Pop-Culture[edit]

The Beaux-Arts-style station designed by Donn Barber was one of the grandest buildings in Chattanooga, featuring an arched main entrance that is claimed to be the largest unsupported brick arch in the world. The building also has an 82-foot (25 m) high ceiling dome with a skylight in the center section. Lighting was provided by large brass chandeliers.[3]

The 1941 Glenn Miller song "Chattanooga Choo Choo" told the story of a train trip from Track 29 at Pennsylvania Station in New York City through Baltimore, North and South Carolina, and terminating at Terminal Station.[4]

Representative old steam locomotive on display at Terminal Station.


In 1972, local businessmen bought the building, renamed it the Chattanooga Choo Choo after the song, and began rehabilitating the building. Today,[when?] the 24-acre (97,000 m2) complex is a convention center, hotel and resort with restaurants and shops. Hotel guests can stay in half of a restored passenger railway car. Dining at the complex includes the Gardens restaurant in the Terminal Station itself (enclosed passenger loading platform), The Station House (which is housed in a former baggage storage, but on original building plans is designated as "Mail Sorting Facility") and the "Dinner in the Diner" which is the complex's fine dining venue, housed in a restored 1938 Class A dining car. Some parts of the complex are connected by a heritage streetcar line, operated by a 1924-built ex-New Orleans Perley Thomas trolley car.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "The Chattanooga Choo Choo, St. Louis, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Chattanooga, Tennessee: Train Town - Reading 3". National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  4. ^ "Chattanooga, Tennessee: Train Town". National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 

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