Coates House Restoration Records (KC214)
The Coates House, completed in 1869 and considered the finest hotel in Kansas city, was purchased in 1872 by Colonel Kersey Coates. Colonel Coates' dream of a new wing designed by Henry Van Brunt was realized in 1886. However, Coates died in 1887 before the addition was completed. In 1890, the original 1869 structure was rebuilt and the Hotel continued to prosper until the Great Depression.. Many important and well known people stayed at the elegant Coates House: Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Edwin Booth, Lily Langtree, and Sarah Bernhardt are a few names which graced its register. In 1945, the exterior was modernized and neglect, vandalism, and trendy remodeling all contributed to its loss of distinction. The Coates House was nominated in 1971 for the National Register of Historic Places. In January of 1978, the 1886 addition burned. The next year the Historic Kansas City Foundation (HKCF) purchased the building from its owner who was applying for de-registration with the intent of tearing it down to build a new parking lot. After cleaning up the damaged building, the Foundation began looking for a buyer to renovate the Coates House in a fashion that would preserve its heritage.
This collection is the files of William Bruning, chair of HKCF's Coates House Task Force, and includes correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, handwritten notes, Task Force minutes, contracts, and fundraising efforts. 1854-1982.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
updated: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu