Pittsburg Scenes - Hotels
   
Besse Hotel
121 E. Fourth
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Besse Hotel Construction #1
- photo 1926
Besse Hotel Construction #2
- photo 1926
Besse Hotel Construction #3
- photo 1926
Besse Hotel Construction #4
- photo 1926
Besse Hotel Construction #5
- photo 1926
 
 
         
Besse Hotel Construction #6
- photo 1926
Besse Hotel
- no postmark (1915 - 1930)
Besse Hotel
"Svenska Rummet" Swedish Room
- no postmark (c1930 - 1944)
Besse Hotel
Matchbook Cover
(no date)
Besse Hotel
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1944
 
 
In 1925, a group of civic leaders concluded that Pittsburg needed a new large hotel where businessmen could stay and conventions could be held. They embarked on a campaign to raise the money and after about 100 donations, selling of bonds and a large donation from one businessman, Alexander Besse, construction began July 14, 1926 on the Northwest corner of Fourth and Locust. A hotel company was formed and it was decided to name the building the Besse Hotel in honor of the man who gave the final donation that completed the project. The hotel was designed by Oklahoma City, Oklahoma architects W. T. Schmitt, J. W. Hawk and J. Parr and built by local construction man Asa Messenger. It is a traditional 3 part building with ziggurat massing of 13 stories with outside ornamentation in a late Gothic revival style. An article from the Pittsburg Daily Headlight of Aug. 29, 1926 mentioned that the hotel company had decided to include two roof gardens to the construction. The lower garden was to be above the Collegiate Room on the second floor and the other on the roof of the seventh floor. The 135 room, $300,000 hotel opened 11 months later on July 14, 1927. The hotel became a showcase for Pittsburg and its only "skyscraper," being the first thing seen in the horizon as you approach the town. It continued as a hotel with some rooms being leased as apartments through 1979. After that the building sat mostly empty except for a few renters and businesses on the main floor for the next 30 years. On April 16, 2008 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, Kansas City developer, Garrison Development, purchased the building and after a $10 million renovation, reopened in December 2009 as the Besse Hotel Apartments with 46 low to moderate income apartments.
 
 
Besse Hotel Construction Picture #1 - photo from "Remember When?", The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas, Friday, 10 May 1974.
Besse Hotel Construction Picture #2 - photo from "Remember When?", The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas, Tuesday, May 14, 1974.
Besse Hotel Construction Picture #3 - photo from "Remember When?", The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas, Saturday, 11 May 1974.
Besse Hotel Construction Picture #4 - photo from "Remember When?", The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas, Wednesday, 15 May 1974.
Besse Hotel Construction Picture #5 - photo from "Remember When?", The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas, Thursday, 16 May 1974.
Besse Hotel Construction Picture #6- photo from "Remember When?", The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas, Friday, 17 May 1974.

 

 

updated January 2014
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