A president with high approval ratings

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


In keeping with our “Remember This” column, this week we bring you this wonderful color Hall Bros. postcard published in 1929, featuring the Hotel President located at 1329 Baltimore.


Designed by the architectural firm of Shepard & Wiser and constructed at a cost of roughly $3 million, the Hotel President was one of many prominent hotels in downtown Kansas City, sharing the stage with The Baltimore, The Midland, The Kupper, The Aladdin and The Muehlebach. The Hotel President was built in 1926 by Niagara Falls businessman Frank Dudley, and was operated by the United Hotels Company. During its heyday the Hotel President was the headquarters for the Republican National Convention in 1928, where Herbert Hoover was that party’s presidential nominee.


The description on the back of the postcard reads: “The hotel contains 450 rooms and 450 baths, is beautifully furnished and is complete in every detail. The Congress and Junior Assembly rooms on the fourteenth floor have a seating capacity of 1,000. The Aztec room on the second floor is one of the most unique in the country and the first to exemplify the craft of America’s earliest aboriginal artworks.”


Also a huge drawing factor was a two-story Presidential Suite, a central public address system and its own ice producing plant, the first in any Kansas City hotel.


The Drum Room, one of the hotel’s signature lounges, was an integral part of a 1941 remodel of the hotel. It was designed by the architectural firm of Neville and Sharp, who gave it a South Sea Island theme. The bar in the center of the room resembled a huge snare drum, complete with “adjustment” ropes and a chrome rim. The themed murals were painted by New York artist Winold Reiss.


The Drum Room drew national entertainment names such as Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, and nationally recognized local talent Marilyn Maye. Maye, a Kansas City treasure who recently turned 92 years old, is still performing today.


The President closed in 1980 as downtown spiraled into decay, ultimately bottoming out around 1987.


The Hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, which miraculously kept it from the wrecking ball that befell so many other downtown structures. A public sale of the property in the early 1990’s allowed the artifact seekers into the dusty hallways and stairwells of the hotel to purchase anything that wasn’t nailed down like plates, bowls, silverware, promotional pamphlets, even the original watercolor paintings off the walls of the guest rooms – sans frames, of course.


The hotel stood vacant for almost 15 years, but in 2003 was purchased by an investment group with a keen eye on where downtown was headed. In 2006 it reopened after an almost $50 million dollar restoration and renovation by local hotelier Ron Jury. Today the Hotel President operates as part of the Hilton brand and remains one of downtown Kansas City’s premier lodging and entertainment spots.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Goetz Country Club Special, the Bright Beer!

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The new $750,000 M.K. Goetz Brewery wasn’t built in Kansas City until 1936, but it’s long, storied […]


    Remember This?

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Who you gonna call, when you want to decorate your wall? Ghostbusters! Movie posters have long been […]


    Remember This?

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Dorri Partain The pure spring waters of San Antonio, Texas, were used for decades to produce a variety of […]


    Private Label Branding: Katz Beer style

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Michael Bushnell If a product bore the Katz label, consumers could be sure they were paying the lowest price […]


    Boomer Throwback: Heidel Brau

    July 27th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Chances are, if your parents shopped at Milgram’s Food Stores here in Kansas City, you probably had […]


    Remember This?

    July 27th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Hi, neighbor! Hi, neighbor! What do you know, and what do you say? A catchy tune from […]


    When America Went Dry: Prohibition in the 1920s

    July 20th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Mention the word prohibition to a room full of brewers and distillers and you’ll likely be met […]


    Remember This?

    July 20th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution caused breweries to devise new products to stay in […]


  • The Beer that made Milwaukee famous

    July 13th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The Joseph Schlitz brewing company entered the Kansas City market in earnest when they built a depot […]


    Remember This?

    July 13th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor “Don’t say ‘beer’- say ‘Bull’” was the long-time advertising slogan for Schlitz Malt Liquor. Malted barley is […]


    Remember This?

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Pocket-sized sports schedules are a handy way to keep track of when the hometown team is playing […]


    Scandal, suicide part of Lemp Brewing history

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher While William J. Lemp Brewing Company did not have a brewing presence in Kansas City, the Romanesque […]


    Remember This?

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Whether you use it under your beer glass to collect moisture or on top to keep your […]


    Oldest brewery west of the Hudson River

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Royal Brewing Company of Weston, Mo., was founded in 1842 by John Georgian. Upon his death in […]


    Northeast’s own, Heim Brewery

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we continue our summer postcard series featuring early local brewery operations and their families. No […]


    Remember This?

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Centuries before the bottling and canning process improved the sanitation of beverages, German laws stipulated that drinking […]


    Remember This?

    June 15th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor The opener that is most often known as a “church key” was developed to easily open beer […]


    Hotel linked to city’s rich beer brewing history

    June 15th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This summer The Northeast News will be spotlighting local beer history through our weekly historic postcard column. […]


    Remember This?

    June 8th, 2022
    by

    By Dorri Partain Primetime television viewers were invited to, “Meet George Jetson, Jane his wife, daughter Judy, his boy Elroy,” […]


    Refinery integral to early Sugar Creek development

    June 8th, 2022
    by

    By Michael Bushnell This early hand-colored postcard shows the Sugar Creek Refinery, Standard Oil Co., near Kansas City, Mo. The […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.