KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Excelsior Spring Police Department evacuated an area near The Royal Hotel after it partially collapsed on Wednesday.
The building has been vacant for several years. A police officer spotted the partial collapse on the way back to the police station.
"With all the weather we’ve had, the flooding issues that were here just days ago, I’m sure are all contributing factors," Officer Marcus Champion, of the Excelsior Springs Police Department, said.
Two businesses and eight people living in the apartments on South Street within the 50-foot collapse zone were evacuated and several street and sidewalks were closed.
This includes Thompson and River, Thompson and South, Marietta and South, River and Marrieta and Marrietta and Farris streets.
The hotel was built in 1898, bringing memories to those who worked in the building at that time, like Anna Stalder.
"It’s got a lot of memories," Stalder, who worked at The Royal Hotel as a waitress in the 1950s, said. "Oh, it was wonderful the 50s, the town was a booming place."
Throughout the day, people who live in Excelsior Springs checked out the damage.
"Not surprised first of all," said Excelsior Springs resident, Heather Ashton. "It's sad, but definitely not a surprise, bound to happen."
Another resident, Nathan Ishmael, shared similar thoughts.
"The Royal has always kind of been that one that seems to be still stuck in the past," Ishmael said. "It’s a historical building, but it’s had a lot of issues."
Many who live in the community hope the iconic structure won't be turned into a parking lot.
"I think it would be sad to see it turned into a parking garage or some odd things like that," Ishmael said.
The building will has been under new ownership since July 2020, according to its Facebook page, though owners didn't comment on any future plans as of yet.
People have been asked to not cross the caution tape and to adjust their routes accordingly.
There were no injuries reported.
Structural engineers will visit and evaluate the structure on Thursday.
This is a developing story and will be updated.