The Hotel Phillips has been an elegant destination for visitors to Kansas City since 1931. A project of noted hotel and apartment developer Charles Phillips, it opened as Kansas City’s tallest hotel in an era when the construction of skyscrapers was rapidly shaping the city’s skyline.
The classic brown brick exterior ornamented with creamy terra cotta in a floral motif embodies the traditional English-inspired designs of the period. The Hotel Phillips had highly refined public spaces. There was a reflective black glass ceiling and walnut paneling in the lobby; an enormous chandelier and elegant, paneled walls in the Louis XIV Crystal Ballroom on the mezzanine; and a clubby Old English dining room richly decorated with stenciled walnut paneling and ceiling beams. It also boasted of radio receivers in all guest rooms. Most talked about was the bronze winged female figure sculpted by Jorgen Dreyer that graced the open stairs between the lobby and mezzanine.
As is typical, the hotel was renovated multiple times over the course of its history, beginning in 1944 and again in 1972, 1989 and 2001. The 1989 renovation introduced a number of Art Deco elements that were not part of the building’s original architectural vocabulary.
Having worked on the rehabilitation in 2001, Rosin Preservation was thrilled to be part of the Arbor Lodging project team for the latest efforts, which focused on restoring the lost elegance of the public spaces while freshening the guestrooms. Historically inappropriate elements were removed from the lobby and the ceiling was painted black to mimic the original ceiling. Banquettes were removed from the lower level dining room, while the rich historic Jacobethan finishes were restored. Also on the lower level, a small storage room was converted into a hidden speakeasy bar. The guest rooms received updated finishes that reflect the heritage and elegance that is intrinsic to the Hotel Phillips.
106 W 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri