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CJ Coombs

The historic and beautiful Bellerive Hotel that opened in 1922 was eventually converted into an apartment building

Bellerive Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri.Mwkruse, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Bellerive Hotel is a remarkable building located at 214 E. Armour Boulevard, on the northeast corner of Armour and Warrick Boulevards, in Kansas City, Missouri. This building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 1980.

The Bellerive Hotel consists of eight stories. It's made of steel, concrete, and brick. The architectural design is Neo-Baroque style. The front of the hotel faces Armour Boulevard in midtown Kansas City.

The building is rectangular and also has a basement. There are about 200 rooms that have been remodeled. Where there used to be six dining rooms was remodeled to have public restaurants included. Facilities for the restaurants also took over the space where there used to be a garage.

It was the largest luxury apartment hotel when built during an important period of the development of Armour Boulevard the effects of which give the Boulevard the appearance it has today. (Source.)

During the early 1920s, Armour Boulevard contained luxury high-rise hotel and apartment buildings. The Bellerive is the largest and most richly decorated of these. While many may still be standing, if they aren't preserved and restored, or even renovated, they could face destruction. That was the case with the Belleclaire Apartments in 1979.

Brief history

The Bellerive Hotel opened on November 9, 1922. It was one of Kansas City's largest apartment hotels that was named after St. Ange de Bellerive (the first military commandant and acting governor of St. Louis who died in 1774).

The Bellerive Investment Corporation based in St. Louis developed the hotel. The corporation was owned by Alexander M. Cornwell and his brother, F.M. Cornwell, and Charles Bland. Representing an investment of $2 million, which was a lot of money for that period of time in the city.

The Bellerive was considered part of a hotel chain, and the owners built other apartment hotels in St. Louis:

  • The Melbourne
  • Georgian Court
  • The Biltmore

The hotels that were developed on Armour Boulevard were built for those wanting luxurious amenities. The hotel was staffed and included maids, doormen, and bellmen. The accommodations at this hotel brought in visiting celebrities such as Mary Pickford, Buddy Rogers, and many others.

At it's most-glamorous, the Bellerive Hotel's club, The Casbah, hosted entertainment legends such as Bob Hope, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Jerry Lewis. The Casbah is now your lounge and entertaining space. (Source.)

The architect

The architect who received the commission to design the Bellerive Hotel was Preston J. Bradshaw. Bradshaw's work gained him national attention. In collaboration with Stanford White, they designed the Columbia University campus in New York, and also the House/Senate buildings in Washington D.C.

Today, the Bellerive houses rooms that have been renovated into apartments. Click here to see the amazing photos!

Thanks for reading!

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