Bobby Hotel, Nashville

Photo: Jeff King and Gary Favinger

As part of a renovation project at Bobby Hotel, a 1950’s passenger bus was incorporated into a rooftop lounge. The building was constructed in the 1970s.

A 1956 Greyhound Scenicruiser bus converted for the project was hoisted atop the 10-story building by crane. Hemphill Brothers Coach Co., a tour bus conversion and leasing company, customized the bus.

Hemphill Brothers gutted the whole drive train and interior and widened the bus from 4 feet to 12 feet. A 5-inch I-beam structure frame was built for a platform for the bus. Two hydraulic doors, one on the side and the second at the rear of the bus, were added. The bus’s original doors were repurposed and fabricated to fit. Schweiss Doors supplied hydraulic cylinders, a dual pump system, cylinder mounts and remote openers.

Gary Favinger, fabricator and technical support provider at Hemphill Brothers, says, “[The developer] wanted the front half of the bus to appear like the original coach. The seats were all reupholstered with overhead lighting added.”

To add the doors, Hemphill Brothers fabricated a custom structure. “We cut half the side off the bus and built a structure to support it, and rebuilt the back door opening,” Favinger says. “When I first opened the doors, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go. When it opened up, it was just unbelievable.”

Dual-pump systems for the doors were placed 60 feet away inside a swimming pool mechanical room. They operate the hydraulic cylinders to lift and close an 18-foot, 6-inch-wide by 8-foot-tall side door and a 9-foot-wide by 8-foot-tall rear door. The doors are operated with handheld remote controls.