For nearly 150 years, the Brunswick Hotel has loomed over 202 S. Main St. in Lindsborg. The 11,218-square-foot building has been a hotel, restaurant and even the home base of the Lindsborg American Legion.

On Nov. 18, 2019, the fate of the historic building was decided. Code enforcement actions have been in the process since July 2018. In November, a hearing was held that the owner of the property did not attend. Resolution 11-19 was adopted by the city, condemning the structure and ordering its removal, said Lindsborg City Administrator Greg DuMars said. The first steps were taken in the demolition of the property by taking out the stained glass windows.

According to the Smoky Valley Historical Association, five years after the founding of Lindsborg in 1874, S.A. LaBoyteaux, a judge at the time, built the town’s first hotel. About 13 years later, a local woman named Sarah Jenkins took ownership of the building. Better known for her ownership of the millinery shop, Jenkins sold the property to the Lindsborg Hotel Company for $2,560.

The original building wasn’t long for the world as it was quickly torn down and a new structure was constructed at the cost of $22,000. The building, built with Romanesque Revival influences, was a fine addition to "Little Sweden."

The most modern building of its kind was described by Del Anderson in a 1987 Lindsborg News Record article: "The grand structure was red brick (locally pressed) trimmed with limestone brought from Manhattan. It contained a lobby, large dining room, second-floor parlor and 33 guest rooms. The Hotel had a coach with a tasseled top to take guests to and from the train depot."

Eventually, the hotel came under ownership of Bethany College in 1897 and under the management of E. M. and Cora Weddle, who continued until 1946. In its early heyday, guests had the choice of the American Plan, which consisted of a room and three meals for the high price of $2 per day, or the European plan for the room only for 75 cents.

In 1924, the dining room was closed because of staffing difficulties. In the ‘30s it was turned into what became known as "the ballroom." Unfortunately, the state of Kansas charged a $200 fee for a dance hall license, a cost that the Weddles couldn’t justify during the time. This room would later once again provide food to those wishing to dine in the historic building, though it wasn’t known by the same name.

In 1946, the building was sold to the Lindsborg American Legion. The Legion remained the organization’s home until 1967. During the 1950s it served veterans as a boarding house overseen by Carl and Kathryn Frantz.

After 1967, the iconic building went through numerous owners and various functions. It has been a warehouse, box factory, private club, bed and breakfast, professional office space and a private residence. It has also seen plenty of changes. The entire third floor was removed in 1976 after it had deteriorated and major improvements and renovations have been made inside and outside over the years. Because of the removal of the third floor, the property does not qualify for historic tax credits, DuMars said.

The demolition of the building is expected to take six weeks. The lot will still be owned by the current property owner, though a "for sale" sign is on the property.

Even though the building will no longer grace the corner of Grant and Main streets, pieces of it are scattered throughout the town. The old bar from the lounge is across the street in the Ol’ Stuga, the fireplace was taken brick by brick to the Emil Pinkall American Legion Post 140 and chairs and tables from the dining room can be found at restaurants around town. Even without those bits and pieces, the history will live on in the many memories of the residents of Lindsborg who have attended events, eaten meals or just wandered the halls of the Brunswick Hotel.