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Peabody Hotel

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The Peabody Memphis

Peabody Hotel

General information

Location

Memphis, Tennessee

Coordinates

35.142514°N 90.051944°WCoordinates: 35.142514°N 90.051944°W

Opening

1925

Owner

Peabody Hotel Group

Technical details

Floor count

14

Floor area

80,000 square feet (7,432.2 m2)

Design and construction

Architect

Walter W. Ahlschlager

Other information

Number of rooms

464

Number of suites

4

Number of restaurants

7

Parking

1000+

Website

Official website

Peabody Hotel

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

Location

149 Union Ave
Memphis, Tennessee

Area

Downtown

Built

1925

Architectural style

Italian Renaissance

NRHP Reference #

77001290

Added to NRHP

September 14, 1977

The Peabody Hotel is a luxury hotel in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The hotel is known for the “Peabody Ducks” that live on the hotel rooftop and make daily treks to the lobby. The Peabody Memphis is a member of Historic Hotel of America the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Contents
[hide] 1 History
2 Peabody Hotel Group
3 The Peabody Ducks
4 Design features
5 Radio and Television
6 Hotel floor layout
7 References
8 External links

History[edit]

Inside the Peabody
The original Peabody Hotel was built in 1869 at the corner of Main and Monroe streets by Robert Campbell Brinkley, who named it to honor the recently deceased George Peabody for his contributions to the South.[1] The hotel was highly successful. Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederacy, lived there in 1870 when he worked as president of an insurance company.[2] It closed in 1923.[1]

The current Peabody Hotel building, on Union Avenue, was built in 1925 on the previous site of the Fransioli Hotel, which looked just like the original Peabody Hotel.[3] Designed by Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager, the Italian Renaissance building holds historical and cultural significance;[4] it has been said that the Mississippi Delta “begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel (in Memphis) and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg”.[5]

Before the mid-1960s, alcoholic beverages were sold in Tennessee only as sealed bottles in licensed liquor stores. A patron could bring a bottle acquired elsewhere into the hotel bar, The Creel, where the bartender would tag it and mix drinks from it at the patron’s request.

The hotel went bankrupt in 1965 and was sold in a foreclosure auction to Sheraton Hotels. It became the Sheraton-Peabody Hotel.[6]

The Sheraton-Peabody closed in 1973. Isadore Edwin Hanover purchased the hotel from the county in 1975 for $400,000 and sold it to his son-in-law, Jack A. Belz, for the same amount. Belz spent the next several years and $25 million renovating the landmark structure. The grand reopening in 1981 is widely considered in Memphis a major catalyst for the downtown area’s ongoing revitalization.

The Peabody Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Peabody Hotel Group[edit]

The Peabody Hotel Group (PHG) operated two additional properties under the Peabody name for many years. The Peabody Orlando, near Orlando, Florida opened in 1986 as the second Peabody Hotel. It was sold on August 28, 2013 and was renamed Hyatt Regency Orlando on October 1, 2013.[7] PHG operated a third hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas from 2002, when they assumed management of the former Excelsior Hotel, until 2013, when the property became a Marriott.[8] They also previously operated properties under the Hilton name in Greenville, South Carolina and Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Peabody Ducks[edit]

The Peabody Ducks in the Fountain

Ducks marching back to the elevators
The Peabody is probably best known for a custom dating back to the 1930s. The General Manager of the time, Frank Schutt, had just returned from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas. He and his friends found it amusing to leave three of their live English Call Duck decoys in the hotel fountain. The guests loved the idea, and since then, five Mallard ducks (one drake and four hens) have played in the fountain every day.[1]

In 1940, a Bellman by the name of Edward Pembroke volunteered to care for the ducks. Pembroke was given the position of “Duckmaster” and served in that position until 1991. As a former circus animal trainer, he taught the ducks to march into the hotel lobby, which started the famous Peabody Duck March.[1] Every day at 11:00 a.m., the Peabody Ducks are escorted from their penthouse home, on the Plantation Roof, to the lobby via elevator. The ducks, accompanied by the King Cotton March by John Phillip Sousa, then proceed across a red carpet to the hotel fountain, made of a solid block of Italian travertine marble. The ducks are then ceremoniously led back to their penthouse at 5:00 p.m.[9]

Over the years, The Peabody Ducks have gained celebrity status with television appearances (along with their Duckmaster) on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Sesame Street, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. They have also appeared in People magazine.[10]

The position of “Duckmaster” at the Peabody Memphis is the only such position in the world. Celebrities have also assumed the role of Honorary Duckmaster from time to time, including Zane Lamprey, Paula Deen, Joan Collins, Molly Ringwald, Kevin Bacon, Peter Frampton, Emeril Lagasse, Patrick Swayze, Queen Noor of Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Fry, Rudolph van Veen and Gayle King.[11]

The custom of keeping ducks in the lobby fountain may date back even further than the 1930s. A pre-1915 postcard highlights the ducks playing in the fountain, and one source claims the custom goes back to the hotel’s opening in 1869.[12]

However, the Peabody itself claims the duck tradition to have started in 1933, as on December 3, 2008 they unveiled a new “Duck Palace” located on the rooftop, for the 75th anniversary of the duck tradition. The 24 by 12 foot enclosure features granite flooring, ceiling fans, a scale replica of the hotel, a fountain decorated with a pair of bronze ducks, and a large viewing window for guests to see them in their new home. The Duck Palace cost approximately $200,000 to construct.[13]

Design features[edit]

The Peabody Hotel’s most recognizable features are large red neon “The Peabody” signs atop the Skyway Ballroom and the central elevator shaft.

The top floor, the Skyway and Plantation Roof, offers stunning views of the surrounding Memphis skyscrapers. The rooftop is often used as a space for bands and other musical acts, especially during the Thursday night “Rooftop Parties” in the summer months.[14]

In the elevators, one must press “S” to access the top floor. If this floor were numbered, one would press “13” to reach it, but due to superstitions regarding the number thirteen, management decided to call the top floor “the Skyway.”

Radio and Television[edit]

The studios of radio station WREC and later its television spinoff WREC-TV (now WREG) were for many years located in the hotel basement.[15] During the Big Band era, the Skyway was a popular night-spot, and the ballroom was one of only a handful of sites in America from which the CBS radio network would broadcast live weekly programs. Regular headliners included Tommy Dorsey and the Andrews Sisters.

Hotel floor layout[edit]

13 (S) – The Plantation Roof, Duck Palace, The Skyway Ballroom, The Penthouse (not used)

12 – The Peabody Club, The Presidential Suite, Club Level Guest Rooms

11 – Standard Guest Rooms, Junior Suites, Romeo and Juliet Suites

10 – Standard Guest Rooms, Junior Suites, Edward Pembroke Suite

09 through 08 – Standard Guest Rooms

07 – Standard Guest Rooms, W.C. Handy Suite

06 through 04 – Standard Guest Rooms

03 – The Peabody Executive Conference Center

02 (M) – Mezzanine Level, The Peabody Grand Ballroom, Venetian Room, Continental Ballroom, Louis XVI Room, Forest Room, Hernando DeSoto Room, The Tennessee Exhibit Hall, The Peabody Memorabilia Room, Francis Scott Key Piano, Hotel Kitchens, Banquet Offices

01 (L) – The Grand Lobby, Chez Philippe, Cappriccio Grill, The Lobby Bar, The Corner Bar, Peabody Deli and Desserts, The Grand Galleria of Shops, Guest Registration, Valet, Concierge, Bell Stand

LL – Lower Level (Basement), Administrative Offices, Gould’s Day Spa and Salon, Peabody Athletic Club, Shoeshine Parlor, Hotel Pool

At one time Northwest Airlines had a ticket office in the Peabody Hotel Arcade.[16]

References[edit]

1.^ Jump up to: a b c d Peabody Hotel History[dead link]
2.Jump up ^ United States Census, 1870, Tennessee, Shelby Co., 4-WD Memphis, Peabody Hotel, Series: M593 Roll: 1562 Page: 147.
3.Jump up ^ Fransioli Hotel History[dead link]
4.Jump up ^ Faragher, Scott; Katherine Harrington (2002-11-18). The Peabody Hotel. Arcadia. ISBN 0-7385-1453-5.
5.Jump up ^ Cohn, David (1935). God Shakes Creation. Harper & Brothers. and Schmidt, William E. (1986-10-05). “Memphis’ Grand Hotel”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
6.Jump up ^ “FindACase™ | 02/19/74 MEMPHIS HOUSING AUTHORITY v. PEABODY GARAGE COMPANY SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE”. Tn.findacase.com. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
7.Jump up ^ http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article73579.html
8.Jump up ^ [1][dead link]
9.Jump up ^ The Peabody Ducks[dead link]
10.Jump up ^ Peabody Ducks
11.Jump up ^ Peabody Ducks
12.Jump up ^ baby doll Parfitt, Ginny; Mary L. Martin (2005). Memories of Memphis: A History in Postcards. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. p. 48. ISBN 0-7643-2288-5.
13.Jump up ^ Fontenay, Blake. “Gilding the nest: Peabody spares no expense in building a quacktacular rooftop roost”. Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
14.Jump up ^ Peabody Rooftop Parties Schedule
15.Jump up ^ “The History Of WREG-TV”. Wreg.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
16.Jump up ^ “Ticket Offices and Phone Numbers.” (Archive) Northwest Airlines. June 13, 1998. Retrieved on November 20, 2012. “Northwest Airlines Peabody Hotel Arcade 149 Union Ave. Memphis, TN 38103”

External links[edit]

Tennessee portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peabody Hotel, Memphis.

Official website
Peabody Hotel Group

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Categories: Skyscrapers in Memphis, Tennessee
Hotels in Memphis, Tennessee
National Register of Historic Places in Tennessee
Hotel buildings completed in 1925
Hotels established in 1925
1925 establishments in Tennessee

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Kay Kremerskothen

http://blog.flickr.net/?p=45478
2013-07-26T13:00:09Z
2013-07-26T13:00:09Z

<![CDATA[      Our last Flickr Friday theme was #TheBirds, and here is the weekly selection of your submissions. While we were inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s movie when choosing the theme, your approach was very broad. You photographed birds in front of your window, colorful prints and paper cranes, and your hid yourself from the […]]]>

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The Birds

#TheBirds Flickr Friday Fly Away

35/365 Cap

The Birds The Birds

鳥類 - The Birds

23 - July - 2013:  The Birds symbolism

The Birds

# Our last Flickr Friday theme was #TheBirds, and here is the weekly selection of your submissions.

While we were inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s movie when choosing the theme, your approach was very broad. You photographed birds in front of your window, colorful prints and paper cranes, and your hid yourself from the birds looking for you. Shots of mechanical birds that usually race the roads and skies, and we even spottet a flight-savvy little furry friend getting ready for liftoff. Explore more of your submissions for this theme in the Flickr Friday group pool.

For the new Flickr Friday theme for this week we wanted to get a bit more technical again. Especially for our analog enthosiats, this one will be a pleasure: #DoubleExposure. Even if you use a mobile photo or have to get the help of post processing to double-expose your shots, we’re looking forward you your submissions over the course of the week. The next selection of your shots will be showcased right here on the Flickr Blog next Friday.

Photos from unoforever, Ellie Skye, camrynpaige, BlueDog_1199, Beeches Photography, mswickedmonton, Sandra’s Weeds, Ash if, trivet, and Dani Toriumi.

#FlickrFriday is a weekly photography project that challenges your creativity. For a chance to be featured on FlickrBlog, follow @flickr on Twitter & like us on Facebook and look for the weekly theme announcement every Friday. Browse the Flickr Friday category for more.

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Thea Lamkin

http://blog.flickr.net/?p=45368
2013-07-26T09:23:19Z
2013-07-25T23:05:23Z

<![CDATA[As announced earlier this week, Flickr is currently down for some planned maintenance. We’ll be back after a few short hours at 10pm PDT. Follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates. UPDATE, 9:59 PDT: And we’re back up! If you experience any unexpected behavior, please let us know in the help forum.]]>

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As announced earlier this week, Flickr is currently down for some planned maintenance. We’ll be back after a few short hours at 10pm PDT.

Follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates.

UPDATE, 9:59 PDT: And we’re back up! If you experience any unexpected behavior, please let us know in the help forum.

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jamilabrookssharemythoughts

We were created to love, to be loved, to nurture, support, be supported. That’s our design now exactly who we end up sharing this moments with well that’s our destiny. So whether it be for a season, it’s your destiny, or for years to come its still your destiny. In most cases you go through a lot of season destiny’s before you meet that decade or lifetime destiny, but we are design to go through and love and be loved, nurture, support and be supported, even to be hurt, but destiny and design pulls and moves us on our way. So no hard feelings for those season destiny, without you would never make it to happily ever after.

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The sharing economy gets greedy

now they are after your gun again. WHY DO LEGISLATURES LOOK AT GUNS ON THE DOWN SIDE?

Gigaom

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/31/the_sharing_economy_gets_greedy/

Salon wrote about a new organization called Peers, which works to promote the sharing economy. While Peers isn’t a lobbying organization, the founder said, it tries to get more people sharing resources like their cars and houses through companies like AirBnb or Lyft.

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