Johnson City in Washington County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
John Sevier Hotel
Named for Tennessee's first governor and promoted as the finest hotel between Roanoke and Chattanooga, the John Sevier opened on August 5, 1924. The hotel was planned in three stages, with a second section completed in 1929. The third section was not built because of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Dubbed Johnson City's “Million Dollar Hotel” and managed by the William Foor Hotel Group, the John Sevier was a prominent landmark during the Roaring '20s, at which time the city became known as “Little Chicago.” The hotel was located near the Southern Railway Station. Its famous guests included Eleanor Roosevelt and President Herbert Hoover. A host of entertainers such as actors Gabby Hayes and Tyrone Power stayed at the John Sevier during its heyday.
The hotel ceased operations in late 1975, and the building was adapted during 1977 and 1978 to provide apartments for senior citizens. It reopened as the John Sevier Center in 1978. The building survived a tragic Christmas Eve fire in 1989 in which sixteen persons died of smoke inhalation.
Left: The hotel lobby.
Center: The John Sevier was one of the most popular hostelries in the Southeast. It offered 225 modern rooms with baths and had a reputation for fine cuisine and courteous service. Courtesy of Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University
Right: The Ballroom was used often for social and business affairs. Courtesy of Bob L. Cox
Erected by Johnson City History Tour.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is August 5, 1924.
Location. 36° 19.062′ N, 82° 21.051′ W. Marker is in Johnson City, Tennessee, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of East Market Street (State Highway 91) and South Roan Street, on the left when traveling west on East Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 202 East Market Street, Johnson City TN 37601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Samuel Cole Williams (within shouting distance of this marker); Johnson City Sessions (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Johnson City Sessions (about 500 feet away); Science Hill (about 500 feet away); Main Street (about 600 feet away); Johnson City (about 800 feet away); Rich-R-Tone Records (approx. 0.2 miles away); East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Depot (approx. Ό mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Johnson City.
Also see . . .
1. 'Elegance' in downtown: The John Sevier Hotel's heyday and history. From the Johnson City Press. Published Sept. 21, 2019. (Submitted on October 13, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.)
2. Asset Detail | Johnson City Commercial Historic District. National Register of Historic Places registration form and photographs (PDF) for the district, which includes the former hotel. (Submitted on October 13, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 13, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 365 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 13, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.