Title: Bellerive Hotel

Description: Postcard of the Bellerive Hotel

Historical Article: Kansas City's newest and largest apartment hotel, the Bellerive (200 apartments, some with five rooms), was formally opened Nov. 9, 1922, at a preview dinner given by the St. Louis owners, A. N. Cornwell, his brother, F. M. Cornwell, and Charles Bland. Sen. James A. Reed made the principal address, and guests included the mayor of St. Louis and other notables and friends from St. Louis and Kansas City.

The hotel, designed by Preston J. Bradshaw, was similar to the Melbourne Apartment Hotel at Grand and Lindell in St. Louis. There was a spacious lobby and there were six dining rooms, one public and five private.

A guest who maintained a residence at the Bellerive since 1936 and who still spends part of her time there each year recalls the gracious lifestyle of the hotel's early years. Four maids were assigned to each floor day and night. The night maids took care of the turn-downs in each bedroom and placed a small glass pitcher of ice water on the night stand.

Guests were not permitted to go up the front elevator with packages. Upon entering the hotel, packages were handed to the doorman, who in turn gave them to the bellman, who took them up in the service elevator. A list of foods not to be cooked was posted in each apartment kitchen.

Many celebrities stayed at the Bellerive over the years. Ernestine Schumann-Heink was there in the '20s. Later came Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers, Jeanette McDonald, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Lily Pons, Marian Anderson and Dame Edith Sitwell and Sir Osbert Sitwell.

The British flag flew proudly over the hotel on Oct. 22, 1947, in honor of the British ambassador, Lord Inverchapel, and his lady, who were guests at the Bellerive.

Today it is still no uncommon sight to see celebrities at the hotel, such as the artists from the Missouri Repertory Theater, the Starlight Theater and the Kansas City Lyric Theater, who are regular guests.

Two dinner theaters, Tiffany's Attic and the Waldo Astoria, rehearse there regularly, and Theater for Young America often uses the hotel facilities for rehearsals.

Kansas City Times
May 7, 1977

Author: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)

Item Type: Postcard

Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981

Location: SC58

Local Subject: Bellerive Apartments; Hotels; Apartments; Bellerive Hotel

Digital Format: JPEG

Barcode: 20000384

Repository: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

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