The first thing you notice when you walk the halls of Houston Station, located in the hip, industrial Wedgewood Houston neighborhood just south of downtown Nashville, is the sound of your feet on historic hardwoods and the feeling that if brick walls could talk, they'd have many a tale to tell. There are actually 2 buildings: The West, built in 1885, and The East, early1900's.
Having been home to a Sock Mill (May Hosiery Company) and The American Syrup factory, which manufactured Jellies, Jams, Syrups, and even sweetened chewing tobacco, both were thriving businesses for decades and employed generations of Nashvillians.
Houston Station Founder
Jacob May came to the U.S. from Germany at age 18 and, after settling in Boston, where he opened his first hosiery store, a Newspaper ad caught his eye and he found himself in Nashville, TN where he and a few partners eventually opened for business on Chestnut Street. May Mills became very profitable, having customers such as: Woolworth, Montgomery Ward, and Marshall Fields, to name a few. Known for its quality socks, May was one of the first licensees of Walt Disney in the 1930's, and also came under contract by NASA, where the socks even made it to the moon after the crew of Apollo 2 wore them on their voyage in 1969.
After both businesses left the space at Houston Station in the late 60’s/early 70’s, the buildings remained abandoned for many years, until it was purchased by Houston Street Partners in the early 2000’s, and restoration began. Still having the same industrial vibe, and a train closeby, it’s hard not to feel a sense of time-travel upon entering the space , which now houses many art and creative agencies, an event space, a music store, and 2 restaurants with more planned.
A great way to check out Houston Station is during the First Saturday monthly art crawl in the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood. https://www.am-wh.com