The Eldridge Hotel has been an integral part of the history of Lawrence since its founding. The original building on this site was the Free State Hotel, built in 1855 by settlers from the New England Emigrant Aid Society. The Free State Hotel was intended as temporary quarters for those settlers who came here from Boston and other areas while their homes were being built. It was named the The Free State Hotel to make clear the intent of those early settlers: that Kansas should come into the union as a free state.
In October of 2004 the hotel was sold at auction to a group made up of University of Kansas Alumni and local investors. After four months beginning in January 2005, during which the hotel was closed, a multi-million dollar renovation project restored the building to its original 1925 grandeur. Reopening in May of 2005, The Eldridge once again assumed its role as Lawrence's premier hotel, occupying the most historic corner in Kansas. The Eldridge truly is the place where history and hospitality converge.
The Eldridge has 48 luxury suites. Each suite includes a full size sleeper sofa, a bar area with sink and compact refrigerator, state of the art coffeemaker with the new “pod” brewing method – and flavoured coffees and tea, hair dryer, iron and ironing board and complimentary wireless internet access.