Hotel at Old Town History
Our Historical Wichita Building Was Once A Keen Kutter Warehouse
Built in 1906, the historic Hotel at Old Town building once served as a busy four-story warehouse facility for the highly successful Keen Kutter brand of tools, silverware, dishes and sporting goods in Wichita, KS.
Designed by the firm of Mauran, Russell and Garden, the warehouse employed state-of-the-art construction and was known as not only the strongest building in Wichita but the largest warehouse in the world. The building was also identical in design to the famous Cupples Building located in St. Louis.
The Keen Kutter warehouse was considered to be virtually fireproof with watertight floors and corbled walls that slowed air currents. Additionally, a cupola on the roof housed 20,000 gallons of water, ready to douse any fire on the premises.
Nearly a century later, local hotelier Jack DeBoer, founder of the Residence Inn and other all-suite hotels, purchased the historical Keen Kutter warehouse building with the idea of creating a truly unique hotel experience in Wichita, KS. What others saw as a timeworn structure, DeBoer saw as a blank canvas for something wonderful. So he closely managed a major renovation and restoration of the warehouse. Thanks to DeBoer’s vision, the Hotel at Old Town opened for business in 1999, giving the Keen Kutter building a second life as a Wichita landmark.
In celebration of its illustrious history, the Hotel at Old Town conducted a major search for Keen Kutter brand items, which resulted in the largest authentic collection ever assembled. These items are displayed on each floor in museum-quality cases adjacent to magnificent photos of early Wichita. The collection serves as a lasting tribute to the hotel’s history.
What was once the site of bustling industry and manufacturing is now Hotel at Old Town, where new meets old in the heart of Wichita's premier entertainment district.