21c Museum Hotel Nashville opens in Music City

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

21c Museum Hotels announce the opening of its seventh property in Nashville, Tennessee. Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, 21c has rehabilitated the historic Gray & Dudley Building in Downtown Nashville near Printer’s Alley.

21c museumhotel nasville

Located at 221 2nd Avenue North, 21c Museum Hotel Nashville offers 10,500 square feet of contemporary art exhibition space open free of charge to the public, a 124-room boutique hotel, and the locally-inspired, Gray & Dudley restaurant helmed by Chef Levon Wallace.

“We have had our sights set on Nashville for quite some time, and are excited to bring 21c to Music City,” said Steve Wilson, Founder and CEO of 21c Museum Hotels. “With such a robust and exciting art and music scene, we felt the destination matched perfectly with our brand ethos, and we look forward to contributing to the area’s thriving cultural landscape.”

Commissioned by 21c Museum Hotels, the multimedia works will be installed throughout the public and private spaces of the hotel, drawing on themes as diverse as technology, pop culture, and the environment.

21c Nashville will also feature a rotating schedule of curated exhibitions. On view until January 2018, the inaugural exhibition, Truth or Dare: A Reality Show, includes painting, sculpture, photography, video, digital animation, and installations by more than 24 artists that layer fiction with fact, narrating both the complexity and the necessity for seeking and speaking the truth. Docent tours of current exhibitions and site-specific installations are offered free of charge to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5pm.

21c will continue engaging with the local community through its ongoing initiative, Elevate 21c, an exhibition program that features works by local artists. Dedicated exhibition spaces on each of the guestroom floors will present works on loan from Nashville-based artists. The installations will change periodically, offering opportunities for a wide range of artists to share their work with a visiting audience, and creating a sense of place for guests. The Elevate program was introduced at 21c Cincinnati in 2012, and runs throughout the seven locations of 21c’s multi-venue museum.

Architecture & Design

Design and architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners has reimagined the historic Gray & Dudley Building as 21c Nashville, preserving the building’s historic elements while creating a versatile platform for exhibiting contemporary art.

Erected in 1900, the building’s first life was as a former wholesale hardware company, the Gray & Dudley Hardware Co. Situated between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and flanked by Bank Alley, the Chicago Style building boasts large arched windows, an articulated masonry façade with terra cotta accents, and a prominent cornice at the roofline. Visitors to the hotel enter from 2nd Avenue into the lobby gallery, featuring historic cast-iron columns, a welcoming reception area, a boutique gift shop that doubles as a lounge and the video gallery designed to showcase new media and digital contemporary art. The space overlooks the double-height Main Gallery on the lower level.

Contemporary art is integrated throughout the public spaces, including the public restrooms with mirrored tiles enveloping a video art installation. A gallery corridor leads to the restaurant, featuring a double-height space centered on a bar with a more intimate dining room and open kitchen adjacent. Custom wood, blackened steel elements and copper and zinc accents set off against deep, luxurious colors to give the restaurant a highly crafted and refined feel. Large metal windows and doors overlook Banker’s Alley, which features an outdoor dining area with custom catenary lighting to enliven the previously little-used passage.

The second floor of the hotel is comprised of additional gallery space, with works featured throughout the extended corridor before branching off into separate rooms that double as meeting and event space. The area features a variety of breakout and meeting rooms along with a larger boardroom, all showcasing art from the 21c Collection.

Meetings & Events

The property’s museum space doubles as meeting and event space, and can accommodate a wide variety of gatherings. On the second floor, meeting galleries and pre-function spaces are suited to events of differing sizes. Several of these spaces overlook the double-height bar area, creating visual connections between various parts of the building and enhancing the sense of activity throughout the hotel. A blackened-steel staircase with perforated metal risers and leather-wrapped hand rails connects the public floors from the Main Gallery on the lower level up to the ground floor and beyond to the gallery and meeting space on the 2nd floor, providing a sense of unity and ease of wayfinding.


The 124 guestrooms and suites at 21c Nashville provide a welcomed sanctuary from the art and activity that fills the galleries and vibrant spaces in and surrounding the property. Designed by Deborah Berke Partners, guestrooms showcase wood floors and high ceilings, custom contemporary furnishings, large windows and luxurious floor-to-ceiling drapery. Three newly-built light wells bring natural illumination into the core of the building, including guest rooms facing the building’s interior.

The hotel features seven rooftop suites, including the spacious 21c Suite with views of the Cumberland River and surrounding historic district. Featuring apartment-style accommodations, the penthouse level 21c Suite includes more than 1,700 square feet of living and outdoor space. Guests can enjoy an expansive, master bedroom with a king bed; an en suite bathroom with a luxurious soaking tub and glass-enclosed shower; a separate powder room for visitors; and an open concept living and dining area with a folding glass wall, providing access to the spacious outdoor terrace overlooking downtown.

Rates for a Deluxe King start at $299 per night.

Click here to book a room at 21c Nashville

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