Kansas City, MO

Exploring the historic Wiltshire Apartment Hotel before its demolition in Kansas City's East Village

CJ Coombs

The Wiltshire Apartments, Kansas City, Missouri before demolition.Photo byGoogle Maps.

The Wiltshire Apartment Hotel was located at 703 E. 10th Street in Kansas City, Missouri until it was demolished earlier this year. It had previously been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on June 27, 2014.

The building was located in the business district on the eastern boundary of what's known as the Library District. It's also in an area known as East Village, which is northeast of City Hall and east of Ilus W. Davis Park. With other buildings being demolished, the speculation is a new Royals Stadium could relocate to that area which was implied as a possibility with the use of the word downtown in John Sherman's open letter to Royals fans (Nov. 2022).

According to the Redfin real estate site, it was on the market for $1.8 M in 2017 and delisted in January 2018. The site also includes the following:

The Wiltshire is positioned at the center of a major redevelopment plan spearheaded byVan Trust, that will revitalize the area, creating an opportunity for investors to take part in the transformation of East Village. (Source.)

According to the Hinterland Gazette (Jan. 27, 2023), there were permits issued to demolish several buildings in the East Village and it started with the Wiltshire Apartments structure.

The back of the Wiltshire Apartment Hotel building before demolition.Photo byGoogle Maps.

Some history of the building

The Wiltshire Apartment Hotel building was constructed in 1928. It was a three-story brick building initially having commercial space. It had a walk-out basement with access to the street. Until around 2014, it was occupied by tenants.

There wasn’t a lot of space between the building and the street, but that was common with these types of buildings during the 1920s.

Interestingly, originally, the apartment closets used to have Murphy beds which also dates the building.

The Wiltshire was a low-rise apartment building constructed to fulfill the needs of the city’s growing population. This building was one of the few remaining low-rise apartment buildings built specifically to accommodate the needs of the working and middle-income classes. According to the NRHP nomination form, the building was 'a rare remaining example of Spanish Colonial Revival style that was popular among Kansas City architects in the late 1920s and 1930s.' (Source.)

The building represents a trend occurring in Kansas City during the 1920s with the increase in the construction of apartment buildings. The steady increase in the city’s population necessitated these buildings. This trend would decline in the late 1920s with the Wiltshire Apartment Hotel being the last or one of them with the onset of the Depression.

During the construction period, architects were using elements of the Spanish Colonial Revival and Commercial Styles. The Spanish Colonial Revival style was demonstrated in the ornate roofline ornamentation and domed turrets, and the interior lobby.

Another prominent architect in the city using similar architectural styles was Nelle E. Peters.

During the early 1900s, apartment building hotels were popular. They started out small and progressed to larger buildings. The years 1924 and 1927 were big construction years for apartment buildings. At the end of this building boom, the Wiltshire Apartment Hotel was constructed. As stated earlier, the Depression curbed the construction of these types of buildings.

The Wiltshire Apartment Hotel existed in a block that was residential and commercial. There was also a café and a grocery store in the Wiltshire building.

Before the demolition of the Wiltshire Apartment Building, it was one of the few apartments left that was built in the 1920s for middle-income and working-class residents. In 2014, the building was under threat of being demolished and nine years later, it happened.

Thanks for reading.

Comments / 4

Published by

Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms, and I retired early so I could be a writer all day. You could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri because I was born into the Air Force life. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

More from CJ Coombs

Comments / 0