"Laclede linked the old and
the new St.Louis; noted political center"
May 31, 1915 St. Louis Globe Democrat
The Old Laclede Hotel was described as having the utmost in luxuriousness and comfort for its day. The hotel was famous for serving riverboat and rail travelers, and was an important meeting place for the Missouri Democratic Party. During the hotels 'hey day,' until his death in 1915, J.L. Griswold was its owner and operator. Confident in the future of St. Louis, his ability to entertain guests and hospitability were a driving force behind the Laclede's success. After his passing, Nelie Griswold, his daughter continued as owner. Control however was passed to leasers as the hotel fell into decline. In the Lacledes last 30 years of its existence, fires were a common occurrence. Several proposals to build a new hotel in its place failed to generate enough support and the Laclede was finally torn down in 1961 to make way for the construction of Kiener Plaza.