Allis Hotel

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1929 | Abandoned: 1984
Historic Designation: Register of Historic Kansas Places
Status: Demolished (1996)
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

When the Allis Hotel was completed in 1929, its 17 stories made it the tallest building in Kansas, and it remained so for many years. The Allis’s art deco design was patterned after New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria, and the Allis was considered Kansas’s finest hotel. After closing in 1984, the structure deteriorated and was vandalized. By the early 1990s, its preservation was the subject of controversy. To some, the structure was Wichita’s tallest eyesore, and they nicknamed it Kansas’s Largest Pigeon Coop. To others, it was, The Grand Old Lady of Broadway and merited saving then came building implosion. Most members of HPA worked hard in an attempt to save it. There were editorials, fundraisers, lawsuits, rallies, and City Council hearings. Nevertheless, in September 1996 the City Council, in a divided vote, elected to implode the hotel. Last-minute efforts to stop demolition failed, and the fate of the Allis was sealed.

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