Construction of The Broadview Hotel, located just outside of downtown Wichita’s Old Town neighborhood, began on September 15, 1921, and the hotel welcomed its first guests only eight months later. Built along the banks of the Arkansas River near the Chisholm Trail, it soon became known as the premier hotel in the Midwest for its central location in the city along popular transportation lines. A horse and buggy station once located on the northwest side of the building was the only means of public transportation to western Kansas.
In the early 1920s, the Broadview merged with the Arkansas Valley Interurban Railway Company. The basement of the hotel was Wichita’s only speakeasy during 1920s Prohibition, and the restaurant was large enough to seat 600 people. Dining and dancing could also be enjoyed on the rooftop promenade, which overlooked the city. Due to the hotel’s popularity, a north wing was added in 1929.
In 1948, the Crystal Ballroom was constructed on the ground floor. The perimeter of the ballroom features a 1,500-square-foot mosaic designed by renowned Native American artist Blackbear Bosin. The theme of the mosaic is “The Advance of Civilization in Kansas,” which depicts early Kansas settlers, Native Americans, wildlife and the railroad. The ballroom is still used today.
Drury Hotels renovated the Broadview in 2011, preserving the mosaic mural in the ballroom and original elements of the lobby like hand-crafted moldings and the original tile floor. The design included environmentally-friendly, sustainable enhancements that earned LEED® Green certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. During renovation, Drury Hotels expanded the green space around the property creating a beautiful riverfront park that hosts festivals and community events in the spring and summer months.