Pacific Hotel was Razed to Make Room for Century II
Editor’s note: Information for this article has come from the Tihen Notes accounts of the Wichita Eagle and the Beacon.
Downtown Wichita used to be full of hotels. HPA will visit one of those in April, but most have not remained.
Nine years before the Broadview Hotel was built at Waco and Douglas, across the street west of the Missouri Pacific depot, Albert Kunkle built the New Pacific Hotel just south of the depot. It was the second Pacific Hotel in the young city, and it catered to the many traveling salesmen who rode the rail lines.
William Mampe, of Wichita, was the architect of the four-storey, 60 room hotel which cost $50,000.
It opened for business on the morning of July 17, 1913 and had its official grand opening on the evening of July 14.
However the building’s owner had nothing to do with the hotel itself. Kunkle was an investor who leased the building to K. W. Colegrove, of Fort Smith, Arkansas. And, before the hotel even opened, Kunkle had sold the building to Arthur Paulline for $55,000.
Paulline maintained ownership of the building for two years, but by that time the management lease had changed hands two more times.
Colegrave sold the equipment and lease to B. S. Shutt and son in March 1914. The installed an 18 foot electric sign and a canopy from the doorway over the sidewalk.
A year later, Shutt sold the equipment and lease to D. Weaver.
About that same time, May 1915, the building’s ownership also changed hands. Paulline traded his west side Pacific Hotel – plus $40,000 – for the Jefferson Hotel in the 600 block of east Douglas, opposite the old Santa Fe station.
The Jefferson had been owned by John P. Mahan and sat just east of the Eaton Hotel, where Naftzger Park is now situated. The trade set the value of the Pacific Hotel at $85,000.
Before building the Jefferson Hotel, Mahan had run a "cigar store" in the Eaton. That was a euphemism for bar, and it was that bar which Cary Nation destroyed.
That may be the reason the next people to run the Pacific Hotel, now owned by Mahan, declared in the June 8, 1919 Eagle that they planned "to keep the hotel on a strictly moral basis."
Their "moral" reign lasted three years. The Pacific Hotel continued in operation while both the building and its management continued to change hands until it was razed in the 1960s to make room for the Century II complex.