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Carey House; Wichita, KS | by kendahlarama
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Carey House; Wichita, KS

Photo c. 1897 of the elegant Carey Hotel in Wichita, KS, built in 1887. This second-empire style structure is still standing today (06/02/2010) and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. William Henry Sternberg (1832 - 1906) was one of two prime contractors to erect this building. He was responsible for all the doors, windows and interior finish carpentry. W.H. Sternberg built more commercial buildings such as this than any other contractor in the late 1800s... "probably twice as many as have been put by any other contractor in the city", Portrait And Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan., Chapman Brothers 1888, pgs. 190 - 191. In addition to putting up more of the commercial buildings than anyone else he also designed and erected most of the large, upscale homes of the day, including homes for: C.N. Lewis, Albert. W. Oliver (Co-Owner, large flour mill), Aaron Katz (business merchant), Mark J. Oliver (Atty), Hiram Imboden (Co-Owner, large flour mill), M.W. Levy (bank president), Peter Getto (Capitalist), Reuben H. Roys (Atty), Finlay Ross (Mayor), William H. Whitman, Jacob Henry Aley (prominent merchant, boots & shoes), Robert E. Gutherie (Capitalist), J.R. Van Zandt (prominent busienssman), George Pratt (lumber baron), Charles W. Bitting, Alfred W. Bitting (prominent businessman), Judge James L. Dyer (Judge), Charles M Jones (Clothier), Dr. G. E. McAdams (Physician), Capt. Charles Smyth, Dr. J. H. Russell (Physician), Kos Harris (Atty), William Greiffenstein (Mayor), Russell Harding (a railroad superintendent), Ben Aldrich (Mayor & prominent businessman) and many others...


This hotel was purchased by the manager of it (Ben Eaton) in 1899 and has since been known as the Hotel Eaton. When Eaton acquired this, he modified the northeast corner and the east side (between the two arches) by removing the brick and limestone and installing large windows. See photostream for another photo of the Hotel Eaton with its large windows. In addition to being a hotel, this building also housed offices. For example this was the office location for the O.Z. Smith Realty Company. In 1900, hotel rates were $2.00 - $3.00 per day, but Smith's agency was advertising "All Hotel Bills paid and Free Livery Hire to all Prospective Buyers".


What appear to be chimney flues on this building are actually decorative tops to structural supports - made to look like chimney tops. A similar feature (structural supports outfitted with dummy chimney flues at the top) was also seen on the Bitting Brothers Building at Douglas and Market (another Sternberg-built structure). In its day the Carey House Hotel was certainly a first class hotel... It had an elevator (believed to be hydraulic), steam heat, hot and cold running water in all of the guest rooms and a dining room that was the talk of the town. See photo stream for photos of the interior of this hotel. The arched sign at the very top says "J.B. Carey" on the lower portion. John Carey lived here in this hotel when he owned it. The hotel also housed some business offices, like for example the headquarters of the Oscar Z. Smith Realty Company. Rates in 1900 were between $2.00 to $3.00 / day (depending on the level of luxury). However if you were a prospective real estate buyer, Smith's Realty Company advertised, "All Hotel Bills paid and Free Livery Hire to all Prospective Buyers". "Livery Hire" meant "you had a ride" - a horse and carriage to take you around town and go see some real estate!


Your thoughts, comments and/or additional information about this place and/or this photo are welcome and appreciated.

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Uploaded on June 2, 2010