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Claypool Hotel records

Identifier: L325

Scope and Contents

The collection primarily consists of papers about the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1947 to 1967 when the hotel was managed by W. Bryan Karr, and the hotel was affiliated with the National Hotel Company of Galveston, Texas. Included in the collection is Karr’s correspondence with the National Hotel Company staff regarding hotel finances, auditing procedures, supplies, and construction work. Also included are correspondence with hotel patrons, suppliers, advertisers, memos to hotel staff, and other hotel owners regarding hotel business.

The collection also contains reports, blueprints, memos, menus, directories, signs, and other printed materials used in the Claypool Hotel. Additionally, the collection contains correspondence regarding hotel renovations and the installation of new furnishings that occurred in the 1950s, as well as papers relating to the rental of office, display space in the hotel by airlines and other businesses, and papers regarding the Indianapolis 500 Festival.


  • 1947-1967


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

Henry Lawrence built the Claypool Hotel in 1903 with the financial assistance of Connersville millionaire Edward Faye Claypool. Thomas Carter’s tavern (1822) and the Bates House (1853) had previously stood on its site at the corner of Illinois and Washington streets.

Architect Frank Andrews designed a lobby that was reportedly the largest in the country, which opened in 1903. The hotel’s 450 guest rooms were elegantly furnished, and its meeting rooms were noted for their size. The Claypool Hotel’s proximity to the Indiana State House ensured its use as a headquarters for both political parties and as a site for political gatherings. The Claypool closed in 1967 after a fire damaged most of the building. The Claypool Hotel was demolished two years later in 1969.


2.6 Cubic Feet (8 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Claypool Hotel, 1969/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed by Unknown. Collection re-processed 2011/12 by Brent Abercrombie. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/02 by Lauren Patton.
Claypool Hotel records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.