An eclectic hotel complex featuring a modern urban infill "Open Air Living" atrium
The Merchants Hotel project is comprised of a variety of existing and new buildings, typologies, architectural periods of significance, and architectural styles. The hotel design is comprised of the old Kelly Hotel, the old Commerce Bank, the Municipal Auditorium, and lastly features new construction that acts as "urban infill" between the Kelly Hotel and old Commerce Bank building. Through its massing and orientation, this new construction forms a large outdoor plaza and can be covered or enclosed to create a new 40 foot tall atrium space. By attaching balconies to the north face of the Kelly Hotel building, adding new temperature controlled retail and spa spaces facing the sidewalk, and re-purposing the old Commerce Bank elevated walkway to create a continuous pedestrian loop for hotel guests, the leftover space in between acts as the perfect hotel lobby and covered atrium.
Using modern construction materials of concrete and glass as well as hanging vegetation and water features, the new structure ties together the various architectural periods of significance with a new modern "open air living" structure. This eclectic approach embraces the various contrasting periods of architectural significance. The commercial vernacular style of the Kelly, the Art Deco style of the Ludwig Abt designed Municipal Auditorium, and the mid-century modern Commerce Bank building each have their own distinct period of architectural significance. Additionally, this new "open air living" atrium structure with multiple habitable levels and a variety of unique natural and man made features also has its own distinct architectural period of the early 21st century.
The new construction includes a variety of new hotel amenities to be featured, such as balconies for the Kelly Hotel guests, a new reflective glass spa that overlooks the atrium on one side and the downtown streets on the other, and retail shops along the sidewalk. The atrium space will welcome hotel guests with a lobby below the covered walkway and invite them into into the covered patio/wedding venue complete with a stage, "a living wall" backdrop, hanging vegetation and water features, and a transparent roof high above.
Many historic hotels once stood in downtown Moberly, contributing to the vibrant, thriving economic conditions that characterized the downtown district during its many significant architectural periods. These hotels acted as travel destinations for the many visitors from all over the country. Among these hotels were the Baltimore, the American, the Arlington, the Leo, the Randolph, and the Merchants Hotel. The only remaining structure that can be seen today is the old Kelly Hotel which was built as an overflow annex to the much larger Merchants Hotel. The Kelly is a perfect candidate for historic rehabilitation using federal and state historic tax credits. By replacing windows and storefront alterations with historically accurate architectural elements, the Kelly Hotel can once again be preserved in its original splendor and act as a truly unique regional destination for travelers, weddings, and business conventions.