Party at the Bellerive, renovation invokes its rich past

There will be a public party Tuesday, as Midtown’s historic Bellerive Hotel reopens as luxury apartments.

People can toast the days of Billie Holliday and Duke Ellington and hear live music from 5 to 8 p.m.

Those artists, along with Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and many others played at the hotel’s famous Casbah Lounge.

The renovation at 214 East Armour Blvd. is the latest by MAC Properties along Armour.

A historic postcard of the hotel. Photo courtesy Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.

The Neo-Baroque hotel went on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It was the first of the many luxury  hotels and apartments built on Armour, according to its historic listing papers.

It was built for $2 million in 1922 of brick, terra cotta and limestone. The eight-story building was the largest hotel in the city then and was fully staffed with maids, doormen and bellmen day and night.

Among its guests were Mary Pickford, Dorothy Gish, Jeanette McDonald, Buddy Rogers and the British ambassador and his wife.

The architect was Preston J. Bradshaw of St. Louis, who designed many landmark luxury hotels. It was named for St. Ange de Bellerive, the first military commander and acting governor of St. Louis.

You can drink to them all.

Comments are closed.