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Read House
Location Chattanooga, Tennessee
Built 1926
Architect William Holabird & Martin Roche
NRHP reference No. 76001780
Added to NRHP December 23, 1976

The Read House Hotel is a historic hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The current building dates from 1926, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for Hamilton County.


The first hotel on the site was the Old Crutchfield House, named for the Crutchfield family who built it. It was located directly across from the railway. During this time in Chattanooga, the railways were the main source of business and imports. This constant flow of business is what allowed the Old Crutchfield House to prosper. The house doubled as an inn as well and a hospital for Union soldiers traveling through the city during the Civil War. The inn caught fire and burned to the ground in the year 1867. After the fire, the Crutchfield family chose not to rebuild. This left room for John T. Read to step in and build a new hotel in place of the old inn. The new Read House Hotel opened on New Year's Day 1872. In 1926, the hotel was torn down and a new hotel constructed based on the design from the two architects Holabird and Roche to have a Georgian style with 10 stories. One more renovation occurred in 2004. The hotel dropped its affiliation with Sheraton in November 2015, and the official name is now The Read House Historic Inn & Suites. On August 30, 2016 the hotel was purchased by Avocet Hospitality Group of Charleston, SC. An 18-20 million dollar renovation is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Famous visitors

Being in the heart of Chattanooga, the Read House has come onto contact with many familiar faces. Among those are Oprah Winfrey, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and one of the more well known, Al Capone. Capone stayed in the Read House a short time during his federal trial in the early 20th century. Custom iron bars were added to the windows in the room Capone resided in (Room 311), and remained there until a renovation in 2004.

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