"The Motor Inn Downtown, 421 St. Louis, did not open for guests this morning, reported the proprietor, James W. Crowder.
"Crowder, who moved here from Lampe, Mo., about 20 months ago to take over the former Ozark and Moran Hotel, said his future plans are indefinite. The Hotel’s 17 or 18 permanent guests have moved, he said.
"'They didn’t have much notice,' said Crowder, 'but they were very nice about it. We had no choice. The building was condemned by the state.'
"There was no condemnation by the state, said Victor H. Simon, a spokesman for the Eisenmayer estate which owns the three story brick building. Cause of the closing, said Simon, was a utilities bill reportedly owed by the tenant.
"Closing of the hotel won’t affect ground floor tenants in the building, including a bar, barber shop, dress shop, and an investment firm, Simon said. 'The very fact that these places are open shows the building hasn’t been condemned,' Simon pointed out. There are no immediate prospects for a new tenant for the hotel portion, he said.
"City Utilities Manager Marvin Castleberry said it’s against CU policy to discuss status of any customer’s bill. However, he confirmed that last week a cutoff order had been issued for noon today and that subsequently other arrangements have been made to provide service to other tenants and to continue hotel service until a former owner, Richard Moran, completes the removal of his furnishings later this week.
"'I’m in a vise,' Moran told a reporter today. 'What would your wife do if she were told she had 72 hours to move out all the possessions you had accumulated in five rooms over 20 years?'
"Earl White, county environ-licensing inspections of hotels, motels, and bottling plants for the State Division of Health, today declined comment on Crowder's statement that state action had prompted the closing.
"Simon recalled today that the building was constructed in 1914 by John T. Woodruff as a fraternal building, with large lodge rooms upstairs. When it was purchased by the late F. X. Heer and A. J. Eisenmayer, about seven years later, it was converted to a hotel, operated as the Ozark Hotel by a Des Moines man named Cooper and his son-in-law, George Holvey. Moran took over the hotel in 1944 and changed its name to the Moran; has lived in a five-room apartment there since. In 1961, it was purchased by J. H. Park, now living in Sikeston, and Perry Ennis, who now has the Travelodge Downtown Motel, 503 St. Louis. They changed the name to the title kept by Crowder, when he took over the hotel."
This hotel was located between Jefferson and Benton Ave. on the North side of St. Louis, according to the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map located at the Library Center. Richard Moran died in 1985 at eighty four years of age.
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