From the founder of Picnooga, David Moon, Chattanooga Then elevates and shares Chattanooga’s history through photographs, postcards, and other historical artifacts.

Lookout Mountain Hotel early 1950s

The Lookout Mountain Hotel was built on Jackson Hill in 1928, a few miles south of Lookout Point. The newly opened Scenic Highway connecting Gadsden, Alabama, to Chattanooga eventuating the hotel’s construction. Nicknamed “The Castle in the Clouds,” the 200-room hotel included lavish amenities, such as red velvet carpet, heavy gilt floor candelabras, overstuffed velvet loveseats, fainting couches, and the largest ballroom in the South. Adhering to the castle motif, there was a room named Knights of the Round Table, which was decorated with a large round table and medieval suits of armor standing guard in each corner.

The hotel struggled through the Great Depression but saw success as a summer resort in the ’40s and ’50s. The Tudor architecture was a perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as tennis, swimming, and golf. Evening parties featured dancing, music and hard liquor-which was not available in Hamilton County because of its dry status. Tunnels running under the Lookout Mountain Hotel (perhaps reaching as far as Rock City) are rumored to exist and allegedly stored moonshine and another homemade hooch for the Chicago Mob during Prohibition. 

Actors Eddie Fisher and Liz Taylor are rumored to have secretly spent their honeymoon in Room 531 after their 1959 Las Vegas wedding.

Since 1964, the Lookout Mountain Hotel has been home to Covenant College.

Lookout Mountain Hotel
Lookout Mountian Hotel in 1952 (Kodachrome color slide)

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