Muehlebach Hotel

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Muehlebach Hotel

Postby KC Sporting Life » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:42 pm

I'm doing a little research on the original Muehlebach Hotel tower at 12th and Baltimore.  Specifically, I'm wondering about the bar that faces Baltimore.  Does anyone here know if it was in the original building in 1915?  If it was, did it have a name?  Or did it ever exist as something else over the years?

Photos would also be great, if anyone knows where to find shots of that room.

That building has a lot of history.  Truman spent a lot of time there, he met with Eisenhower there.  The Beatles held a press conference there.  I'm hoping to learn more about that specific bar.

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:09 pm

Harry Truman signed the legislature at the Muehlebach authorizing foreign aid to Turkey and Greece as part of the Truman Doctrine.

The hotel was also headquarters during Truman's 1948 election upset.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muehlebach_Hotel

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:31 pm

Truman Capote stayed at the Muehlebach while awaiting execution of Perry Smith and Dick Hickok, his protagonists in his book "In Cold Blood."

http://kchistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/Local&CISOPTR=29213&CISOBOX=1&REC=7

You should go through the Muehlebach folders at the Missouri Valley Special Collections unit at the Kansas City Public Library's downtown branch.

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby PumpkinStalker » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:39 pm

The lobby made a kick ass place for my wedding last August.  If you don't have a contact there, call and ask for Pex Kotz the catering/special events director.  She's from Thailand with a strong accent and is VERY helpful and competent.  I'm sure if you are really nice she'll set up a few minutes for you to poke around.

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:44 pm

I found a link to someone who is looking for photos of the Keithley Bar and Grill in the old Muehlebach.

http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/490719.aspx

Here is an article about the Muehlebach in the Examiner. It features a video by Walt Bodine.

http://www.examiner.com/x-11407-Kansas-City-Landmarks-Examiner~y2009m9d19-Muehlebach-Hotel-called-Kansas-Citys-Hotel-of-Presidents

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:46 pm

Found this. Image of old Muehlebach soap and matches.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/muehlebach-hotel-rubber-stamp-bar-of-soap

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:48 pm


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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:49 pm

Old postcard of the hotel.

Image


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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:59 pm

Ernest Hemingway mentioned the hotel in his novel, Across the River and into the Trees.

http://www.kansascity.com/2007/08/03/217585/a-writers-haunts-where-he-worked.html

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby KCMax » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:17 pm

Dems headquartered at the Muehlebach while Reagan debated Walter Mondale in KC (held at the Music Hall) when he uttered his famous "I will not make age an issue in this campaign.  I'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponents youth and inexperience" quip.

At the Muehlebach Hotel, where Democrats were headquartered, there were T-shirts for sale that carried the words, ''Righteous Ron matches wits with Fightin' Fritz.''

A store in the hotel lobby offered two political brand of cigars, one with a wrapper reading, ''Fight for Fritz'' and the other proclaiming ''Reagan is Right.''

After it was all over, a fireworks display lightened the area.


That was quite a summer. Michael Jackson kicked off his tour at Arrowhead Stadium, we held the NAACP convention, we hosted the most famous Presidential debate in over a decade, and the Royals won the division.

''We're already rated among the top 10 convention centers,'' said Robert MacGregor, president of the Chamber of Commerce. ''And with this kind of attention, from the Jackson Concert, the NAACP convention ... and now the presidential debate, our national ranking is sure to still go higher.''


The Muehlebach was also the site of a public hearing of the FDA that made national headlines for the controversial cancer drug treatment Laetrile.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 76,1426977
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 90,00.html
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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby KC Sporting Life » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:19 pm

That postcard is great, thanks for diggin that up and the other links, Fang. 

Looks like Ferruza has written quite a bit about the hotel over the years.  I've found mention of several different restaurants/bars/cafes that have apparently existed at some point in the hotel....Cafe Picardy, Cafe Trianon, Keithely Bar and Grill....but I can't seem to determine exactly where they were located.  Maybe he knows.

If you haven't seen the room I'm talking about, it's really amazing.  It's like it's been frozen in time, with a gorgeous old dark wood and mirrored bar with brass rails, marble/stone floor, 2 pillars in the middle of the room, and wooden cabinets along one wall.  It's a pretty small space, seats maybe 50-60. There isn't any furniture in there, it's wide open, but I'm told that they occassionally use it for private parties.  One of the most interesting aspects of the space is the streetside entrance, right next to the Hotel entrance on Baltimore.  The bar has its own revolving glass door with etching on it, and it's framed in a marble entryway with a gargoyle-like statue over it.  It's really got a strange and interesting look to it.

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby KC_JAYHAWK » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:26 pm

The original hotel is not open, is that correct, just the lobby?  At least it appears that way...I've never seen any of the blinds open.
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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:28 pm

Yeah, the hotel has had many different bar and restaurant names. The Plantation Grille, Terrace Grille come to mind.  However, I think they might have been in another room in the hotel--the one facing 12th Street. The hotel also had a tea room.

Here is a postcard of the Terrace Grille.

http://kchistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/Mrs&CISOPTR=901&CISOBOX=1&REC=16

Here is a postcard of the Tea Foyer.

http://kchistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/Mrs&CISOPTR=954&CISOBOX=1&REC=15

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:31 pm

KC_JAYHAWK wrote:The original hotel is not open, is that correct, just the lobby?  At least it appears that way...I've never seen any of the blinds open.


I think they still use the old bar on Baltimore for meetings, and the old ballrooms as well. They use the buffet room in the old hotel.  The rooms are not used though. I wish they would renovate the old rooms, and maybe combine some to make them larger.

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby KCMax » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:32 pm

I've been to the ballrooms. It does not appear as if any of the rooms for rent are open.
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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:35 pm

I think they will take you up to see the Presidential Suite if you ask.

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:36 pm

Here's a YouTube recording of the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra performing at the Muehlebach.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByhfNV4lHdo&feature=player_embedded

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby LenexatoKCMO » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:42 pm

I have vague childhood recollections of going with the family to easter brunch at the Muehlbach but I don't remember the name of the dining room. 

Didn't the hotel tower have a pretty serious reputation as being haunted as hell before it closed? 

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Re: Muehlebach Hotel

Postby FangKC » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:46 pm

You can buy a live recording of the Beatles 1964 press conference from the top floor of the hotel.

http://www.amazon.com/Beatles-64-Goin-Kansas-City/dp/B0008103A8


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