Jefferson Landing State Historic Site

Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, located in Jefferson City, Missouri is a historic district maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  It encompasses several state-owned properties.  The historic site includes the Lohman’s Landing Building (also known as the Jefferson Landing Building), the Christopher Maus House, and the Union Hotel.  It was built in 1834, and is a 3 1/2-story, rectangular limestone building.  Measuring 71 feet, 6 inches, long and 50 feet deep, the Jefferson Landing Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.  Jefferson Landing is one of the few remaining 19th-century river-front landings on the Missouri River.

The Missouri State Museum is also responsible for managing Jefferson Landing State Historic Site.  The buildings are among the oldest in the capital city.  The state acquired the landing in the 1960s with plans to demolish the remaining buildings.  Local preservationists became involved and restoration of the Lohman Building, Union Hotel, and Maus House commenced in 1974.  On July 4, 1976, Jefferson Landing State Historic Site was dedicated and opened to the public as Missouri’s official bicentennial project.  The Lohman Building once served as a warehouse and hotel on the riverfront.  Today, it proudly offers an interactive interpretive space, exhibit area and film room on the ground floor and offices on the first and second floors.  Once a riverfront hotel, it now houses the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery, which hosts temporary Missouri art, culture and history exhibitions.

The Lohman Building depicts an 1850s general store and warehouse and features a film on the history of the site and of Jefferson City.  It also serves as a support facility for the Missouri State Museum, located on the main floor of the Capitol.  The State Capitol, sits atop a bluff overlooking the Missouri River.  The magnificent white-limestone structure, resembling the one in Washington, D.C., stands majestically at the center of the city and contains the legislative chambers, numerous works of art, and the Missouri State Museum.  Its two large first-floor galleries provide a sampling of the state’s natural resources and rich history.

History of the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site in Jefferson City, Missouri

The stone Lohman Building was constructed in 1839 by James Crump and was used as a grocery store, warehouse, telegraph office, tavern, and hotel.  The building earned the nickname “the landing” and was recognized as a popular meeting place for lawmakers and commercial operators.  Crump’s business partner Charles Lohman eventually purchased all sections of the building that then became known as Lohman’s Landing.  In 1855, Charles Maus built a hotel across the street, and his brother Christopher Maus built a small, red brick home just to the south of the hotel.  The hotel went through several name changes: Missouri Hotel, Veranda Hotel, and finally the Union Hotel following the Civil War.

The Lohman and Union Hotel buildings were used for storage, tenement lodgings, and a shoe factory before being acquired by the state in 1976.

The Union Hotel includes the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery which offers exhibits concerning state history, art, and culture.  The former hotel also serves as the city’s Amtrak train station (located in the basement north side of the Union Hotel building), after having moved out of the nearby Missouri Pacific Depot in 1984.

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By Alexandra R. Fasulo – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

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