History of the Marquette Hotel
During the 1920's, Cape Girardeau shared in the economic growth of the nation, and the success and income of local businesses was quickly increasing. This caused an increase in the development of many new buildings in the area, including theaters, offices, and other public spaces. In 1927, just after the completion of the bridge linking Cape Girardeau to Illinois, a project was launched to provide the growing city with a new hotel on the corner of Broadway and Fountain to accommodate the increased tourist travel to the area. The Chamber of Commerce agreed to the proposal, and $100,000 of the required $300,000 was raised by the sale of individual stocks. $60,000 of this amount was sold locally.1 The remainder of the funds was on a 20-year mortgage by the owner of the new facility, Hotel Securities Organization of St. Louis, and the building was signed to a 15-year lease to Interstate Hotels, making it the thirty-fifth hotel in their chain.
The Marquette was formally opened on November 17, 1928 as the drum and bugle corps paraded down Broadway for the opening. About 8,000 persons attended the grand opening of the hotel, where they could tour the floors and see what the hotel had to offer its guests.5 Upon entering the lobby from the raised entrance, the Spanish influence was easily recognizable to visitors, and "one gets an idea of an architect's dream that has gradually unfolded with patience."6