Admiral Motel

Admiral Motel

Mounting Type: Wall Mount

“First Units in New Admiral Motel Are Opened.” –Kansas City Star, Sunday, September 22, 1957.

Featuring a black and white architectural rendering, the Star article went on to explain the projected
completion schedule for the brand-new motel located at 1409 Admiral Boulevard, on the southwest
corner where Admiral and Paseo Boulevards intersect, “conveniently serving highways 24, 40, 56, 69,
71, 73 and 169,” and just two minutes, or one mile, from downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Designed by architect Manuel Morris and operated by a group of local investors calling themselves the
Admiral Motel Company, the Admiral opened in three phases over as many years—the first 15 units in
1957; the second 16 units and pool in 1958; the final 16 units completed the development in 1959.

Rooms and family suites at the Admiral accommodated 2 to 8 people, boasting luxurious amenities such
as wall-to-wall carpeting, ceramic tile tubs and showers, Sealy Posturepedic mattresses, central heating
and air conditioning, individual automatic-dial telephones, free radio and television, continental
breakfast, fine restaurant and cocktail lounge, and ample parking.

While newspaper ads proclaimed NOW IN KANSAS CITY, NEW! and ULTRA MODERN, the soon-to-
become-iconic neon sign was not installed until 1958, we suspect with the opening of the pool.

One 1966 newspaper ad for Stasi’s Restaurant & Lounge, located in the Admiral Motel, promoted a
turkey and dressing Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for just $2.00. Children under 12, $1.00.

In 2000, the Bhakta family took ownership of the Admiral—Dhansukh (father), Gulabben (mother) and
Atit (son). In 2007, Dhansukh and Atit partnered to convert it to a Rodeway Inn. The sign was removed
and stored by the Bhaktas until purchased by LUMI in the spring of 2023.

With individual letters mounted to supporting framework, the massive Admiral Motel neon measures 22
feet in length. It joins two other motel signs in the LUMI collection: The Capri Motel, which opened in
1962 a block north of the Admiral, and the 4 Acre Motel, circa 1951, from south Kansas City.