Peabody Hotel

Status: Preserved

Address: 149 Union Avenue, Memphis

Built: 1925

Architectural Style: Italian Renaissance Revival

Original Function/Purpose: Hotel

The Peabody Hotel was placed on the National Register on Sept. 14, 1977.

History: After a 1923 fire at its original location at Main and Monroe, the Peabody Hotel moved to this site and into its new building in 1925. It was designed by the firm of Walter W. Ahlschlager Inc. The tradition of Peabody ducks in the fountain began in 1932, and in 1940 bellman Edward Pembroke, ex-circus animal trainer, volunteered to train the ducks to march into the lobby, initiating the Peabody Duck March. During the ‘20s and ‘30s hotel guest rooms were used by major record label talent scouts to record local blues musicians – some of the only remaining historical records of popular local performers. During the ‘30s and ‘40s the hotel’s Skyway Ballroom and adjacent outdoor Plantation Roof were one of three national live radio broadcast sites during the Big Band Era. In 1981 the hotel reopened after a 6 year $25 million renovation. In August 2018, in a USA Today Reader’s Choice survey, the Peabody was named the nation’s top historic hotel.

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN