Amazing Photos from Inside Downtown’s Abandoned Jefferson Hotel


The hotel at 415 North Tucker Boulevard has been vacant for a decade, but the echoes of its ghosts still resonated when photographer Dan Wampler visited last week. Wampler, the creative director for Life Pixel, was given access by his friend, architect Mark Gettemeyer, and shot these gorgeous photos on site.

The Jefferson Hotel greeted its first guests one day before the 1904 World's Fair, on April 29, 1904. Two decades later, the Art Deco ballroom was added, helping to attract luminaries including President Harry S Truman and Judy Garland. But time was hard on the thirteen-story hotel, and by 1977, it had become a home for the elderly called the Jefferson Arms. It closed in 2006.

Its final chapters, though, are still unwritten: The Post-Dispatch reports that Alterra International has the building under contract and is eyeing a possible redevelopment.

Since the building is mostly without power, Wampler used a handheld LED light stick and exposures of up to 30 seconds to capture the eerie scenes. "I shot mostly with a wide-angle lens to capture the vastness of the ballroom, and used a higher-numbered f-stop to get as much depth of field as possible," he says. "In several shots the image of the room and the view through the window helped capture the feelings of loneliness I saw." Wampler's images capture both the sadness of forgotten belongings and the beauty of the original edifice.

For more on Wampler, check out his Facebook page or get details about his upcoming workshops.