Columbia, MO

The historic 1929 Pierce Pennant Motor Hotel in Columbia, Missouri was converted to a retirement center in 1959

CJ Coombs
Pierce Pennant Motor Hotel, Columbia, Missouri.Photo byHornColumbia, CC0 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1929, the historic hotel complex of the Pierce Pennant Motel Hotel (later Candlelight Lodge) was constructed. It's located at 1406 Business Loop 70 West in Columbia, Missouri. In 1982, this complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The architectural design of the hotel is Colonial Revival. The architect was Beverly T. Nelson who also designed some nice homes in St. Louis and deployed the Williamsburg restoration style for the complex.

The style is a liberal interpretation of British, New England, and Virginia originals from the Colonial period of the 1600's and 1700's. The style was fueled by the complete restoration of Colonial Williamsburg in the late 1920's by the John Rockefeller Foundation. (Source.)

The contractor was the firm of Will W. Johnson from Springfield, Missouri.

Pierce Pennant Motor Hotel

The motor hotel was basically a complex of buildings. The structures were arranged in a partial quadrangle and included the hotel and garage, terminal building, service station, and a shelter protecting gas pumps. The construction of this motor hotel at the time was to accommodate the automobile traveler.

The Pierce Petroleum Company, one of the oldest petroleum companies in the United States, built the complex buildings. The plan was to build one of these complexes every 125 miles or so from New York all the way to San Francisco. It wanted to achieve a higher level of comfort compared to the motel lodges that were a string of cabins.

Stephens College used this complex during World War II for the purpose of training women aviators. In 1959, it was acquired by the Candlelight Lodge and converted to senior citizen housing.

It has been estimated that as of 1955, approximately ten percent of the nation's women aviators had received their training at Stephens College. (Source.)

Candlelight Lodge

According to the Columbian Missourian, as of December 2, 2022, Candlelight Lodge would be closing. The facility's website is already not accessible. The facility had served as an assisted-living care center for 63 years.

In 1959, the hotel was purchased by three brothers, Edwin, Adolph, and Harold Gross, because they were looking for an assisted living facility for their father. That can be challenging, especially when you want to trust the facility that's going to care for a parent. Because the brothers couldn't find a place in Missouri, they decided to purchase the Candlelight Lodge. Later, the sons of Edwin helped to run the business.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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