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CJ Coombs

The historical Kansas City Club building completed in 1922 is now Hotel Kansas City

Kansas City Club Building nka Hotel Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64105.Clubwiki, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

What used to be called the Kansas City Club Building was constructed in 1920. It stands 15-stories tall and is located at 1228 Baltimore Avenue in downtown Kansas City, Missouri in the Library District. In 2002, this building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior is artistic and beautiful. The above-pictured building was the club's meeting place from 1922 to 2001.

The Kansas City Club is the oldest gentlemen's club in Missouri although they did begin to admit women in 1975. Early on, maybe the wives were okay with their husbands going elsewhere with their cigars.

By 1987, there were 2,180 members but membership started to decline to under 900 by 2001. Allegedly, that decline was due to private club dues becoming non-deductible coming resulting from the Tax Reform Act of 1986. There was also the fact of changing times when the younger professionals weren't driven to join the club.

Kansas City Club initially met at the old Coate's Hotel

The Kansas City Club was founded in 1882. Its members consisted of businessmen and professionals (after the Civil War a lot of Kansas City's social clubs were pro-Confederate). Most, if not all, members were Republicans. In search of a place to meet, members initially gathered at the Coate's Hotel in Quality Hill on 10th and Broadway.

There was the River Club on Quality Hill and the Kansas City Club--two distinct social clubs in Kansas City. Some of the club's members included Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Omar Bradley, and political boss, Tom Pendergast. Fast forward, other members included Ewing Kauffman, R. Crosby Kemper, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S., Charles Evans Whittaker.
Historic photograph of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, from the Library of Congress.Detroit Publishing Co, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The above photo shows the brick building where club members met from 1888-1922 at 12th and Wyandotte. This building met their needs for 24 years. By that time, the club had over 600 members, and construction began on another building at 1228 Baltimore which served as the members' meeting place from 1922 to 2001.

In 1925 the '822 Club' was founded in Room 822 of the Kansas City Club. Its' main purpose was to avoid prohibition laws in friendly surroundings. Kansas City businessman Tom Evans was a prominent member of the Kansas City Club. Beginning sometime in the 1930s, he frequently invited Harry S. Truman to join him at the 822 Club for poker games that were a nightly event. After Truman became President, he was given an honorary lifetime membership in both the Kansas City Club and the 822 Club. (Source.)

The clubhouse at 918 Baltimore

In 2001, the Kansas City Club merged with the University Club at 9th and Baltimore. The facilities of the University Club were purchased by the Kansas City Club and the members of both clubs merged together.
The Kansas City Club at 918 Baltimore, Kansas City MO.Clubwiki, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

When the club was closed in 2015 after 133 years, a new Kansas City Club located at 918 Baltimore Avenue (pictured above) in Kansas City emerged. It's now a venue for special events. Included inside is the University Pub (ideal for corporate seminars), various ballrooms, the Hearth Room, the Truman Room, and Club Lounge.

The Kansas City Club was a premier club in Kansas City. For almost 80 years, it was a large networking community at the building located at 1228 Baltimore Avenue. In 2002, a developer bought that building and converted it into loft apartments plus a banquet hall.

The first six floors were converted to a banquet facility--The Clubhouse on Baltimore. The other floors left were made into lofts called The Clubhouse Lofts.

In 2020, the building was converted into Hotel Kansas City. The interior is historic and very elegant. The first 5 floors retain their original condition and provide meeting and event spaces.

The old building was designed in 1917 by the architectural firm of Smith, Rae and Lovitt, and it was constructed between 1918 and 1922. The integrity of the exterior of the building speaks to those who look up to its style and consider the history that walked the interior floors.

Thanks for reading!

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