A First Look Inside Chattanooga’s New Common House
It’s fun to stay at the former Y-M-C-A, where a new private social club opens its doors for overnight guests
“This Italian renaissance revival-style architecture is like a piece of Tuscany dropped in Chattanooga—the building resembles nothing around it,” says Derek Sieg, whose new Common House club and boutique hotel recently opened inside a circa 1929 YMCA there. “And the YMCA itself was a version of what we are now—a social club.” Sieg is a co-founder of Common House, a modern social club with locations in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia, that recently opened its third location in Chattanooga after working with the Tennessee-based firms Pfeffer Torode Architecture and Studio BOCA. The artistic team kept much of the original building’s architectural details, such as terra-cotta tile and massive stone fireplaces, and layered in eclectic furniture finds and pieces by local artisans. “It’s a private club that is as inclusive as a private club can be—you don’t have to know people—and we even have a program called Common Ground that offers free membership,” Sieg says. Guests of the fourth floor’s six-room hotel get a day pass to access the bar, restaurants, pool, coworking spaces, and the opportunity to chat with some of Chattanooga’s locals in a preserved historic space. Click through for an exclusive look at the club.