1904 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
With the completion of the new Union Station Terminal
at Pershing Road and Main Street in 1914, the need for affordable
lower class hotel space was realized. The hotels in the Midtown
area, specifically those of 19th and Main Street, Kansas City, reflect
an important aspect of the city's cultural history and development.
With the completion of Union Station in 1914, investors took advantage
of the opportunity to construct convenient, comfortable, and efficient
hotels in the area surrounding the new railroad terminal. During
the ensuing years, Midtown catered to train passengers and employees.
The hotels in the area provided a mixture of transient and more
permanent residential lodging.
Raymond H. Sanneman, architect for the Dixon Hotel (1912), designed
the Monroe Hotel in 1920 for the Dubinsky Brothers. Elelman-Fleming
Construction Company was hired as the general contractor. The Building
is of reinforced concrete with brick and terra cotta. The five-story
hotel was desined to carry an additional three stories. Concrete
Engineering was awarded the structural steel contract. The cost
of the hotel was estimated at $150,000.
In 1924 Thomas J. Pendergast, boss of the Democratic Machine in
Kansas City beginning in the early 1920s, bought the Monroe Hotel.
Pendergast hired Sanneman to design a two-story building adjacent
to the south side of the hotel at 1908 Main. This building served
as the headquarters for the Jackson County Democratic Club. It also
served as Pendergast's office where much of his business was conducted
until the late 1930s. Sometime after he purchased the hotel, a doorway
was installed between his second floor office and the hotel giving
Pendergast a convenient, if not clandestine, entry. Out of town
visitors to Pendergast's office frequently stayed at the Monroe
Hotel. After Pendergast's release from prison for income tax evasion,
a Federal Court ordered the doorway to be sealed and barred Pendergast
from any further political activity. With its link to Pendergast
and the Democratic Party, this hotel is highly representative of
working class hotel accommodations.
The hotel ceased operations in 1971 and was unused for over 30
years. It will now be turned into 8 luxury condominiums.
Once housing 20 hotel rooms on each floor, there will be just two
condos per floor, each with 22 to 28 windows per unit to provide
abundant natural light. Standard unit finishes include top-of-the-line
appliances and cabinets. Outdoor space, in the form of a deck
or metal balcony comes with each condo. Indoor parking is
supplied in the buidlings first floor.
The units range in size from 1,930 to 2,500 square feet, with initial
prices from $405,000 to $670,00. HOA dues will run about $0.25
per square foot.
Renovation of the Hotel Monroe was completed in summer 2006.