Saint Louis, MO

Historic Hotel Jefferson's ballroom has the same name as the haunted ballroom in The Shining

CJ Coombs
Photo bypublichall, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Hotel Jefferson, also known as New Hotel Jefferson, Sheraton-Jefferson, and Jefferson Arms, and soon to become Marriott's AC Hotel brand, is located at 415 North Tucker Avenue in the independent city of St. Louis, Missouri. On October 24, 2003, this building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to Mental Floss, the name of he haunted ballroom in the film, The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson was the Gold Room, which was the same name of the ballroom of Hotel Jefferson that was walled off and closed to the public. I don't think that means it was haunted but if you saw The Shining, you might wonder.

Hotel Jefferson

Hotel Jefferson was originally built for the World's Fair. It was reported late last year that the plan for Jefferson Arms was to create apartments on one side and hotel rooms on the other. Later, it was reported that renovation has begun for the historic building to become a Marriott AC Hotel. Visit here to read about the AC Hotel brand.

By 2025, the 13-story historic building will have restaurants and office space. Residential units will be on the top two floors and the remaining space will have around 240 hotel rooms.

When Hotel Jefferson was extensively renovated in the 1920s, it included a two-story ballroom that was all decked out and could hold up to 1,200 people on its dance floor.

The foundation of the building is stone and the walls are brick and terra cotta. The architectural style is Classical Revival. The original east half of the building was designed by Barnett, Haynes & Barnett Architects.

When Hotel Jefferson opened to the public in April 1904, for a charity ball. Overnight guests were at the hotel on April 29, 1904, which was the day before the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or the St. Louis World's Fair. The hotel was named after Thomas Jefferson. The hotel has had three significant renovations prior to the current one:

  • In 1928, when it was acquired by the New Hotel Jefferson Co., a large addition was constructed on the west side of the hotel. This was designed by Teich & Sullivan.
  • Early 1950s, when it was purchased by the Hilton Hotel Corp. and underwent a two year facelift by Design, Inc.
  • In 1994, ownership went to Affordable Communities of Missouri
Digital print of reel copy, Deep Waterway Association, Hotel Jefferson, St. Louis, Mo. (1906).Photo byGeo. R. Lawrence Co., retrieved from Library of Congress.

The Gold Room (Banquet Hall) is located north of the Crystal Room, and was designed with a two-story space.

In 1904, there was a level of urgency in completing the hotel to prepare for the St. Louis hosted Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Once the fair was over, the hotel was still used for significant conventions and other occasions.

The 1928 renovation doubled the capacity and included two additional banquet rooms. During that year, the six-story Jefferson Plaza Garage was also added. Hotel Jefferson is noted as being the only historic downtown hotel with its own original parking garage. The garage definitely provided relief for the shortage of parking downtown.

In 1950, after Hotel Jefferson was sold to Hilton Hotels, it kept its name. After the Statler Hotels chain was purchased by Hilton, with the ownership of the hotel chain and Hotel Jefferson, the government found this to be an anti-trust violation.

The Department of Justice brought an anti-trust suit against Hilton because owning two hotels in the same city was thought to be unfair competition. Since Hilton owned the Statler, in 1955, Hilton was required to sell Hotel Jefferson to the Sheraton Corporation. At that time, the hotel changed its name to Sheraton-Jefferson.

When Design, Inc. performed its remodeling work during the 1950s, a lot of the architectural features were removed from the lobby, coffee shop, and main dining room on the first level. There was little alterations made to the chief convention rooms, the Crystal Room, and the Gold Room.

In 1962, Sheraton acquired the Jefferson Plaza Garage and provided more access for guests to enter the garage. In 1973, the name was changed to The Jefferson Hotel and continued operating under Sheraton.

In July 1975, the hotel closed and reopened as an elderly residence under the name of Jefferson Arms Apartments in 1977. By the mid-1970s, the hotel was facing the threat of demolition. It was closed and converted to small apartmentts for residents over 50. The hotel was called Jefferson Arms.

Since 1993, the historic hotel and garage buildings were owned by Affordable Communities of Missouri (A California Limited Partnership) which was planning to rehabilitate the building. After the building was listed on the National Register in 2003, the building had several owners, been through lawsuits and a bank foreclosure.

In 2006, developers planned to convert the building into condos, but that fell through. Interestingly, it was 80% occupied with residents who had to leave for the planned conversion.

In 2017, after years of the building being held up in litigation, it was purchased by Alterra Worldwide with plans to convert the hotel building to an AC Hotel by Marriott. This work is expected to be completed by 2025.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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