Historic churches, wild spaces, and beautiful songbirds!
For my final day, I transfer to The Russell, a hotel in East Nashville, across the Cumberland River. Called the city’s “Coolest Neighborhood” by Vogue way back in 2016, East Nashville has long drawn artists, young couples, and open minds—which means it’s packed with craft breweries, music venues, and independent shops.
The Russell is a prime example of preservation within progress. It’s a 118-year-old church that has been reimagined as a hotel—sans front desk. I punch a keypad to enter my room, which is painted in swaths of plum. The headboard is refashioned from an antique pew, and the sheets are so soft I fire up my laptop and buy a set before meeting hotel founder Micah Lacher in the lobby. We sit beneath a stunning stained-glass window and sip lattes while talking about the hotel’s mission to help those experiencing homelessness in Nashville. A percentage of the room rate for every guest who stays at The Russell or its sister property, The Gallatin, goes to those in need, with a typical weekend stay covering roughly 16 nights of shelter, 100 free showers, or 30 meals.
“I grew up as the recipient of charity, and I’ve never forgotten it,” says Lacher, the president of Anchor Investments, a real estate company. “I loved the concept of business as a mission, and I loved that we could not only support East Nashville’s original community through this growth but also save historic buildings.”
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