The red brick and terra cotta Russell Hotel was built in 1917 by Congressman Joseph J. Russell at a cost of $50,000.00. This three-story block on a raised basement was reportedly one of the finest hotels in Southeast Missouri, and unusually large for a town the size of Charleston. It was managed by John Marable who in 1921 purchased the hotel from Congressman Russell, paying for it in full. The basement level of the hotel was known as the “Cellar” and was a popular night club and dance hall, which over the years hosted some of the finest orchestras in the country.
The hotel itself closed several years ago, but a group of partners purchased the building with the intention of creating a bed and breakfast in the former hotel. An art gallery and the first floor restaurant remained open until 2008, when the partners abandoned the building as a result of discovering that their rehabilitation loan had not been guaranteed. A developer would be welcomed with open arms by this community, which cherishes this historic site, one of the single largest building in this charming Southeast Missouri town.
Listed in 2010 and 2011 and as a watched property in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Update: The Russell Hotel was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places by Tiffany Patterson of the State’s Historic Preservation Office. It is hoped that this listing might attract a developer who might be interested in using the State Historic Preservation Tax Credits to renovate the building for future use, perhaps as housing.