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The History of the Phoenix

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The corner of downtown Kansas City where the Phoenix now sits used to be known as part of the Burgeoning Garment District in 1888. The Phoenix was there from the beginning, a somewhat shady hotel that was rumored to be more of a bordello than a hotel. On the first floor there was a speak-easy type saloon owned and operated by bartender Frank Valerius, and on the second floor was a “hotel” owned by Mrs. Linna Laws.

The main competition for The Phoenix were the hotels Metropolitan and The Savoy. The Exchange Hotel, which went belly up long ago, still sits dejected across the street from the thriving Phoenix much like a dead soldier from a war fought long ago.
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The Phoenix • 302 West 8th Street  • KCMO 64105

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