by Michael R. Allen
The first motel in Springfield, Illinois was the State House Inn at 101 E. Adams Street in the heart of downtown. Built in 1961 and designed by Henry Newhouse, the State House Inn is a contemporary of St. Louis’ threatened DeVille Motor Hotel.
However, the State House Inn is celebrated by its city and has received the benefit of a historically-sensitive renovation. In 2003, the motel reopened after a three-year, $8 million renovation. Today, the motel’s guests enjoy lovely modern lodgings just a short walk from Springfield’s major attractions as well as the Amtrak station.
Could the DeVille be the beneficiary of a similar renovation? While not downtown, the DeVille is a short walk from some of the city’s attractions — the Cathedral, Forest Park — and near light rail that connects to our Greyhound/Amtrak station. The Central West End stays open later than downtown Springfield, too, with many restaurants and bars within a short walk of the motel. With the same applied imagination that the State House Inn received, the DeVille could be one of St. Louis’ coolest places to stay.