Harman Patil (Editor)

Buckingham Hotel

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Covid-19
Location  St. Louis, Missouri
Number of rooms  450
Floor count  7
Buckingham Hotel
Owner  Buckingham Realty Company

Buckingham Hotel, later the Ambassador Hotel, was an upmarket hotel which existed in St. Louis, Missouri, United States in the early twentieth century. It was located on the northeast corner of Kingshighway and West Pine Boulevards. Built in 1904 to accommodate World's Fair visitors, it was subsequently known as the Ambassador Hotel, which was gutted by fire in 1971 and razed in 1973.

Contents

Architecture

The building was a U-shaped hotel, seven stories high, with bay windows around the wings. The hotel and annex originally offered 450 rooms, 300 of which had baths.

History

Over the years, the hotel was popular with baseball players, commonly providing accommodation for visiting players and as a hang out for drinking and socialising. It was at the hotel's bar that the Major League Baseball career of Larry McLean ended during a drunken encounter with his manager, John McGraw. After the St. Louis Society of the Archaeological Institute of America was founded on February 8, 1906, the organizational meetings and many early lectures were held at the hotel. It also hosted meetings of the American Philological Association. In addition, it was a meeting place for other societies, conventions and demonstrations, from a Violinist's Guild's Convention in June 1912 to art galleries and weddings. On January 4, 1917, a notorious hotel master thief Ernest Le Ford was arrested at the Buckingham Hotel after successfully robbing over $50,000 (US$934,675 in 2017 dollars) worth of jewels from lavish hotels in New York City.

It was common for guests to live permanently at the hotel, including the hotel's president, Walter James Holbrook. Capitalist Ellis Wainwright died in the hotel in 1924, after living there as a recluse. After 1920, the hotel faced stiff competition from the Chase Hotel, just a block north, and declined in significance. In December 1927, a fire in the hotel's annex led to the death of seven people. The Buckingham Realty Company, which operated the hotel, fell into bankruptcy in 1928, and it sealed the fate of the Buckingham Hotel; the intermingled accounts of the Buckingham Hotel Property and the Buckingham Annex constituted part of the problem.

Prior to 1965, it was owned by the Royale Investment Company, but in that year, it was acquired by attorney Morris Shenker. It was known as the Ambassador for many years until it was demolished around 1973 after a devastating fire.

References

Buckingham Hotel Wikipedia


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