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RENDERINGS: Award-winning boutique chain shows off KC's first 'museum hotel'

June 14, 2018
  • Projects
  • News

As seen in the Kansas City Business Journal. Reported by Leslie Collins. (May 2, 2018)

The historic Hotel Savoy and Savoy Grill building is getting a fresh update that mixes a contemporary flair with existing Victorian and Arts and Crafts elements. 

21c Museum Hotels LLC, based in Louisville, Ky., is redeveloping the property into a boutique "museum hotel" and enlisted the expertise of renowned New York-based architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners and Kansas City-based architecture and design firm Hufft Projects for the $47.5 million project. 21c expects to open the hotel in July and the restaurant a littler earlier in late June.

The building at 219 W. Ninth St. was constructed in 1888 and originally opened as the Savoy Hotel. The new iteration will feature 120 guest rooms, including 19 suites, that feature high ceilings, contemporary furniture and original artwork. There's also a rooftop terrace, a ballroom for groups up to 150 people, and four private art galleries for events.

The hotel will feature more than 6,200-square-feet of contemporary art exhibition space, where hotel guests and the public can receive guided tours of the curated art and site-specific installations.

Another staple of the hotel will be The Savoy, a 125-seat restaurant giving a nod to midcentury dining. Although the restaurant will sport a more contemporary look, it also will embrace the building's history, including the banquette, known as the "President's Booth," that was frequented by Presidents Harry Truman, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

The owners also have preserved murals painted in 1903 by Edward Holslag, which are catalogued in the Smithsonian Institution's "Bicentennial Inventory of American Paintings."

 
21c Museum Hotels has big plans for renovating the Hotel Savoy.
After a two-year delay, 21c Museum Hotels started renovating the Hotel Savoy in 2016. Here's what it looked like before the company got to work on the historic building.

According to an article published on Insider Louisville, 21c faced a unique challenge because of the property's listing on the National Registry of Historic Places. In order to maintain the building's historic status, the company's co-founder and former CEO Steve Wilson said 21c was required to maintain the interior of the bar and restaurant.

"We can't get rid of the paneling, murals, light fixtures, so we're addressing it in a whole new way. It's been a challenge to create a 21c experience with that kind of background," Wilson told the Louisville-centric website in October. However, he said that the company figured out a way to bring the space "screaming into the 21st century."

The hotel will be led by General Manager Tim Roby. Dan Posch is the director of sales and marketing. Scott Tipton will serve as the food and beverage director. Joe West is the executive chef of The Savoy restaurant.

According to the firm’s website, 21c Museum Hotel’s unique experience has been winning accolades from publications such as Travel + LeisureThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and National Geographic Traveler. In addition, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine has ranked several of its hotels among the best in the country and world.

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