The Chase Park Plaza | St. Louis, Missouri
In 1922, The Chase became a vision realized by its namesake, Chase Ullman. Together with his associates, he opened the 500-room hotel and adjacent Chase and Chester apartments, creating a St. Louis landmark.
Just next door, Sam Koplar, the greatest hotelier of his time, began construction of The Park Plaza in 1929.
When the Great Depression put a halt to the project, Mr. Koplar put his expertise to work at The Chase, in the capacity of General Manager. By the early 30’s, he was able to complete his Park Plaza project and in 1946, he purchased the The Chase as well.
Since then, both The Chase and The Park Plaza have welcomed celebrities from movie queens to foreign kings, from popular singers to political leaders. The two have also hosted every U.S. president from the 1920’s through the 1990’s - all in the exemplary style that has made The Chase Park Plaza of today an unparalleled destination for discriminating travelers.
The Chase and Park Plaza also set the stage for spectacular celebrity performances. The Chase Club, on the site now occupied by our cinemas, brought to St. Louis such performers as Frank Sinatra, Sammie Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope. The Starlight and Zodiac rooms atop The Chase Park Plaza hosted big band concerts that were broadcast nationwide. Live broadcasts featuring local and national celebrities also originated from The Steeplechase, now Café Eau.
The Hunt Room, currently Eau Bistro, featured the first lavish Sunday brunch event in the Midwest, a tradition still proudly continued today.
In 1956, The Chase hosted the Miss America contest. The swimsuit competition, held by the newly completed outdoor swimming pool, caused quite a commotion, as the “scantily clad” contestants paraded in view of Kingshighway Boulevard.
Another lady who still draws admiring glances in the pool area is an elegant sculpture – one of many pieces of art bought to enhance the hotels by Mr. Koplar throughout the 1950’s.
During this time the fabulous Khorassan Room was also constructed. The ballroom became a popular venue for local society functions, as well as charity events such as the Variety Club Telethon. The hotel’s superlative style, service and amenities also made it a favorite of famous guests such as Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole. For decades the hotel’s catch phrase was, “The Chase is the place.” And it was true. This was the place to see and be seen.
The construction of a new lobby brought the two hotels together, and the creation of The Tenderloin Room added a lavish dining experience that still impresses guests and locals alike.
In 1982, the Koplar family sold the hotel, and The Park Plaza became an exclusive apartment complex. While The Chase continued to operate as a hotel, it fell into a state of disrepair and eventually closed in 1989.
Fortunately, a group of investors decided to buy and restore The Chase. Renovations began in 1997, and two years later visitors were again flocking to the newly restored Chase Park Plaza. Improvements have continued, including transformations to the décor of our guest accommodations, the creation of the exclusive Private Residences and our Executive Apartments.
After $250 million in renovations and restoration, The Chase Park Plaza is once more the place to experience the grandeur of a glorious past, and the pleasure of a visit where every promise is fulfilled.
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