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f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Hotel Marquette

Posted Friday, October 12, 2012, at 12:00 AM

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Hotel Marquette, northeast corner Broadway and Fountain Street.

A contract for the new hotel was let in October 1927 to A.H. Gerhardt. The plans, drawn by Manske & Bartling, Inc., of St. Louis, called for a six-story, 80 room hotel. Space for several shops on the ground floor, as well as a lobby and dining room. The Marquette, named for Marquette Cement Mfg. Co. in recognition of that company's contributions to the community, was formally opened on Nov. 17, 1928.

William Berberich of the Berberich Co. of St. Louis took over the operation of the hotel in 1929, and in 1933 purchased it in a bankruptcy suit. The company later sold it to Thad Bullock. In 1971, the Missouri Division of Health closed down the hotel and Bullock placed it on the market in 1976.

The building was sold to Prost Builders for $350,000 in 2002, the first step in a $6 million renovation project.

The state of Missouri paid Prost Builders $2.39 million to lease offices on three floors for 10 years.

The Marquette Tower and Marquette Centre were sold in 2009 to G&S Holdings. (G.D. Fronabarger photo, 1951)

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The lobby of the Hotel Marquette, circa 1950s.

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  • It seems the Marquette remains an icon of mid-century Cape for our family.

    We always jumped at a chance for breakfast in the coffee shop when grandparents or traveling salesmen were in town, not just for the food and hot chocolate in the little teapots, but the huge aerial photo of Cape that served as the wall cover never ceased to amaze.

    Likewise one can never forget the Sisco brothers performing their magic at an early 50's Lion's Club party, and I'm not talking about hair styles.

    One New Years after Thad acquired the building, we had a great "Find of the Holidays" New Years party in the lounge, without heat or an organ solo.

    Finally, when the family gathered after Mom's funeral a few years ago, the Spanish lobby was the venue of choice. The next generations still talks of the beautiful tile work that has been so well restored.

    -- Posted by JTL on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 6:23 AM