An upscale hotel in downtown Springfield was built by Freemasons.
BY Natalie Torres Gallagher
Springfield’s Hotel Vandivort was originally a Masonic Temple, and you’ll see evidence of that in the glorious crown molding, iron pillars and the Masonic initiation coins on display in the library. Brothers John and Sam McQueary, who own the hotel, are natives with deep local roots, and you can see that in their approach to the four-story property, which honors the 1906 building’s history while making space for original works by contemporary Springfield artists.
In the eighties, the building was converted into office space (though the original Masonic ballroom was left intact). But don’t worry—you won’t find any outdated wood paneling here. The lobby is designed to impress. Mixed materials—hardwood floors inlaid with light hexagon tiles, sumptuous leather seating for the tables made from reclaimed local oak—make a bold statement.
In 2019, the McQuearys added a forty-eight room expansion dubbed “V2” just a few yards from the main building. The rooms match the mood of the hotel: clean, comfortable and brimming with warm details like record players and vintage vinyl that’s ready for you to spin while you get ready for your evening. Sing along to Neil Diamond as you enjoy the floor-to-ceiling views of downtown Springfield, but know that the best panorama can be found at Vantage, the ritzy rooftop lounge crowning the building. Here, grasping one of the bar’s signature drinks (the Pearfection features brown butter-infused tequila), you can take in the jigsaw pattern of buildings that have sprung up over the city’s history while the sun sinks beneath the Ozark skyline.
The year it opened, the Vandivort became Springfield’s first Four Diamond hotel. I’m guessing the first-floor hotel restaurant, The Order, had something to do with that. The space is comfortable—it’s the kind of place where strangers will lean across the table to ask if you’re also in town for the same concert or art opening—and the food gets high marks for both style and substance. (The seared duck breast with a confit croquette and miso butter carrots was exceptional.) The restaurant’s centerpiece, a striking chandelier-like cluster of blown-glass orbs that hovers like friendly ghosts above your table, is by glass artist Terry Bloodworth, the Chihuly of the Ozarks. Chances are you’ll be just as entertained by the parade of downtown revelers stopping to take selfies with Felix the Space Cat, a bronze statue posted just outside the Order’s corner windows.
GO: 305 E. Walnut St., Springfield. Rates start at $199. hotelvandivort.com.