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Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives

The Museum is located at 101 East Broadway in downtown Excelsior Springs. The building is a historic resource in itself, but also houses a vast collection of artifacts from historic Excelsior Springs reflecting the mineral water and health industry, hotels, pre-history, and more. The museum is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a $2.00 admission charge for 5 years and over; ages under 5 are free. Special tours are available by appointment by calling one week in advance. Contact the Museum at 816-630-0101 or visit their web site for more information.

Clay County State Bank, 1906 - 1968

Standing on what was originally the Excelsior Hotel grounds (Excelsior Springs first hotel), the bank was constructed of Bedford stone and was known as one of the most artistic bank buildings in Missouri.

The Clay County State Bank building was designed in 1905 by Louis Curtiss, a noted Kansas City architect. It was completed in 1906 at a cost of $25,000 and operated as a bank building until 1968, when the Clay County State Bank built a new structure.

The building was expanded in 1918, but the appearance of the west elevation remains identical, according to historic photographs. The paintings on the upper walls of the interior were apparently added during this remodeling. The painting on the south wall, which is a copy of "The Gleaners", pictured above, and "The Angelus" on the north wall are considered to be invaluable.

The Clay County State Bank was founded by William Stone Woods. In 1932, W.T. Kemper Sr. and his sons purchased controlling interests in the bank. The bank is an important example of the work of Louis Curtiss, in spite of alterations. Historic photographs reveal that the bank has retained much of its integrity and a campaign was begun in 2002 to restore much of what has been altered back to the original design, particularly in the elaborate interior decorative elements -- a hallmark of Curtiss's style. The additions themselves have achieved their own significance over time as well. The Clay County State Bank has been listed as an Excelsior Springs Historic Landmark.

When the bank moved in 1968, the building was sold to the City of Excelsior Springs for $1 by the Kemper family of Kansas City, MO.

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