Jefferson Hotel
Source:Rebecca Johnson
Address:
412 Twelfth Street (Tucker Boulevard)
Construction Date:
1904
Architect:
Barnett, Hayes and Barnettt


JEFFERSON HOTEL

Built for wealthy visitors to the St. Louis World’s Fair, the twelve-story, four-hundred-room Jefferson Hotel opened on May 1, 1904. Located at what is now the southwest corner of Locust Street and Tucker Boulevard, it featured marble columns in its lobby supporting a sculpted ceiling with designs evoking a forest, gilded mirrors and rosewood furniture. In June 1916, delegates to the Democratic National Convention including President Woodrow Wilson stayed in the Jefferson Hotel. In the roaring twenties, raids from law enforcement looking for violations of prohibition didn’t stop such luminaries as opera singer Enrico Caruso and movie star Mary Pickford from staying there. Then Cardinals owner Sam Breadon ate lunch there daily, and, in December of 1926 when he traded future Hall-of-Famer Rogers Hornsby after the Cardinals won their first World Series, he famously said any fan who wanted to fight him could find him there at lunch time. The Jefferson Hotel was so popular that management doubled the number of rooms that decade, only to lose money during the depression and go bankrupt in 1944. The Hilton Hotel Company bought it in 1950 and sold it to the Sheraton chain five years later. In the 1970s, it became a retirement living center called the Jefferson Arms Apartments. In July 2006, the Pyramid Companies announced it would renovate the building and put in luxury apartments, movie theaters and restore its magnificent banquet hall.
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For questions regarding the 1800s: gerteis@umsl.edu
For questions regarding the 1900s: ahurley@umsl.edu