Portraits of the Spooky, Abandoned Ballroom in the Jefferson Arms (PHOTOS)

Categories: History

jefferson_ballroom_swan_cover.jpg
Courtesy Michael Allen
Your credit's fine, Mr. Torrance.

"Hi, Lloyd. Little slow tonight, idn't it?"

Yes, it is Mr. Torrance. That's because since roughly the 1950s, the Gold Room at the Hotel Jefferson -- later renamed the Jefferson Arms when it became senior housing -- was essentially shut down. And though hidden and dilapidated, the spacious room appears roughly the same as it did some 80 years ago when it was declared "brilliantly decorated with gold the predominating color" in an advertisement in the Belleville News-Democrat in 1928.

That's all according to Michael R. Allen, who wrote a wonderful post about it on his blog for the Preservation Research Office. Click through to see a collection of haunting portraits of the room. Happy Halloween, Mr. Torrance.

See also: Post-Apocalyptic Portraits of the Abandoned Forest Park Hospital [PHOTOS]

Allen says that he toured the ballroom with a developer client who was interested in purchasing and rehabbing the building (he didn't). But Allen got a hold of the client's pictures and passed them along to us. To find out more about the ballroom's fascinating history, check out his blog entry here: Downtown St. Louis Has a Secret Ballroom.

The hotel was built in 1904 for the World's Fair, then run as an senior residence starting in 1977, before being shut down in 2006 to create condominiums. That redevelopment never happened, and the building remains vacant.

Allen's client took a number of remarkable photos of the crumbling ballroom, notably featuring "orbs" which some consider signs of restless spirits (or dust particles). So walk through the doors:

jefferson_ballroom_doorway.jpg
Courtesy Michael Allen

Click through for the full tour.

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33 comments
Renate Kheim
Renate Kheim

How sad! Lots hope somebody will finally rehab the building.

SubLunar
SubLunar

Seems like the RFT always uses the shittiest quality images they can find for these types of stories... 

And there's nothing remotely creepy about this place though, unless you convince yourself there's something creepy about it beforehand. I managed to survive alone inside without getting raped by ghosts. Anyone who says it's haunted has an overactive imagination. And those are dust particles. Believe it or not, when places are abandoned, they tend to accumulate dust. I know, crazy, right?!

Don Babchick
Don Babchick

attended many great events at this old Hotel and Ballroom, weedings, Bar Mitzvah's and sales meetings....... In her day she was beautiful.

dizzydaring1
dizzydaring1

if only people would stop building further and further out of the city, and start putting a little effort into making the best of what we have left in st.louis, then maybe we would have a healthy and functional town to call home. 

Ken Sawicki
Ken Sawicki

My Dad lived their for a little while when he was a kid.

Debi Partney Adams
Debi Partney Adams

This is so sad to see this wonderful treasure in history, wiped away. It is buildings like this that makes the Lou, shine.

Craig Stevens
Craig Stevens

Restoring this would be amazing. St Louis has destroyed enough things, why not fix something up for a change instead of letting it go to waste. Why do people to go Europe? One of the many reasons is to see the original cities and architecture. When you tear down everything you have for cheap structures to make a buck, what are you really left with? Nothing..

Amy Burger
Amy Burger

Ghost Hunters would tell you that those little circles you see in the photos are spirits.

Karla Terhark
Karla Terhark

I can't believe this hasn't been bought and fixed up, such a shame! Is there some reason that is hasn't been, ie too many structural defects or something? More info RFT!-- this would make an excellent cover story

Danielle Martin Hunt
Danielle Martin Hunt

Wow! That is beautiful! I always find it such a shame when things such as these are left to ruin.

Peter Acsay
Peter Acsay

This was the locale for my Junior ring dance.

Derek Wallace
Derek Wallace

I used to live in the building. I've actually done a photo shoot inside the ballroom, and yes, it's quite haunted. The whole building has restless spirits. Everyone who lived there had stories to tell. I'm very sad to see it condemned today.

sievers.am
sievers.am

I see wedding venue written all over this!!- if only I was independently wealthy..

Dawn Lincoln
Dawn Lincoln

I love those swan curtains. This place should definitely be saved! Imagine all the beautiful events that could happen there.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

There is probably a lot of places like this all over St Louis.  Lucky that this small part was actually photographed so that we can at least sort of enjoy it.

DianeM176
DianeM176

are those orbs or water spots??

Susan Schulte
Susan Schulte

What a beauty! The City should make sure this is restored. And amazing amount of orbs!

Ben Fine
Ben Fine

Joe Edwards should renovate this..

Belinda812
Belinda812

@RiverfrontTimes Perfect setting for a ghost story! Boarded up grand ballroom in a low income or senior high rise? The perfect setting!

BillHannegan
BillHannegan

I saw Ali fight Mathis in the 1970s on closed circuit tv at the Jefferson Hotel. I remember at least a thousand people watching. Would this have been the room?

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