Eldridge Hotel, The

Address: 701 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, KS 66044

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Phone: (785) 749-5011

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The Eldridge hotel was renovated in early 2005, the fourth incarnation of the lodgings at the corner of 7th and Massachusetts streets. The first was given the name Free State Hotel in 1855, but the gathering place for slavery opponents was destroyed within a year during a pro-slavery attack. In 1858, a new hotel was built on the site and leased to Col. Shalor Eldridge, a proprietor of the American Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. But that Eldridge House was destroyed in 1863 during Quantrill's Raid, an attack that left most of Lawrence in ruins. The third version of the hotel, finished in 1866, stood until it fell into disrepair. It was razed to make way for the five-story hotel that stands today as a 48-suite property. The new owners spent in excess of $2 million on renovations, stripping the place of its faux Victorian decor in favor of a more Pottery Barn-style tans, whites and woods feel.