Written and Photographed by Ingrid Keizer
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Nothing is quite as inviting as a huge shady porch with comfortable seats and two sweet canines to greet you. The Inn at 425 had me in its clutches the moment I pulled up in front of this absolutely gorgeous B&B located on 425 Gladstone in Northeast Kansas City.
The Inn has been a labor of love for partners Carl Markus Jr. and Stephan M. Zweifler. The couple bought the weathered Queen Ann 19 years ago with a plan to renovate it and open it as a B&B in their retirement. For 19 years the two men have worked full-time jobs, cared for an ailing parent and poured their earnings into the renovation. The result? An Inn that could easily go head to head with any of America’s Top 10 B&Bs.
The house built in 1888 was home to Judge Stephen & Emeline Twiss. Judge Twiss was a Massachusetts native who came to Kansas city in 1865 and went on to become state representative in 1872. Emiline Twiss, a feminine powerhouse ahead of her time, is said to have founded the first bank for women in downtown Kansas City.
In its youth Kansas City’s Northeast was an economically buoyant and highly fashionable neighborhood. Though evidence of this fact remains, the area began to suffer serious neglect when the Kansas City’s Society folk began seeking “greener pastures”. Many of the neighborhood homes began to serve as boarding houses or were divided into apartments. Fortunately, the area is currently undergoing a renaissance and homes like that of 425 Gladstone are being restored to their former grandeur.
My experiences with B&Bs have not left me longing for further B&B stays. Lack of privacy, uncomfortable antiques, sparse furnishings and shared bathrooms leave me longing for a hotel room. The Inn at 425 blew those notions out of the water. 425 is beautifully furnished with gorgeous functional antiques and family heirlooms. Every single room I viewed begged me to lounge comfortably, curled up with a good book for hours. The spacious house offers multitudes of privacy and each guestroom has a large private bath.
The first floor sun-room is the perfect common space to sip coffee or have breakfast while reading the morning news. The room also includes a tiny gift shop that offers the lovely scented soaps used in the Inn as well as other gift items.
The perfectly manicured and maintained garden area provides a host of opportunities. One could nap in a well shaded hammock or have a drink under the moonlight sharing conversation with one’s delightful hosts. The courtyard includes a Koi pond, the companionship of a new canine friend, marvelous old trees, plentiful seating and tastefully chosen decor.
Carl’s sunny, well equipped and spacious kitchen brought out that green monster that I call, “envy’. While Carl is the main cook, Stephan serves as a his willing assistant. Warm home-cooked breakfasts are worth waking up for at the Inn at 425.
The “Room with a View” is my personal favorite. I am simply a push-over for the color blue and the view of Gladstone Boulevard sets my heart to dreaming of the people who originally built their lives here. The leafless winter months offer a fantastic view of the Kansas City skyline.
Emiline’s Room flaunts beautiful period decor and feminine touches are the likely reason that Emiline Twiss is said to occasionally pay guests a visit. Guests have commented that they sometimes feel a presence, experience the sensation that someone has gently seated themselves on the bed or hear a brief and inaudible whisper in their ear. Frankly, if I was Emiline, I probably wouldn’t want to leave either.
The Rose Room complete with canopy bed also has its own sun room with sheer, white billowy curtains that overlook the courtyard. The room also includes a sunny bathroom with the home’s original claw foot tub, that beckons for a leisurely bath.
The formal dining room is the heart of the house and includes the original fireplace and mantle. The 1890’s vintage chandelier once had a life of its own in a opera house in Venice. I like to imagine that it somehow holds the echos of the music, the drama and the lavish lifestyle it once witnessed.
Whether you are seeking lodging after a distant journey or living in the area and looking for a quiet place to relax, the Inn at 425 won’t disappoint. Visit the beautiful, historic Kansas City Northeast, bask in the splendor of the Inn and enjoy the companionship of your new friends, Carl Markus and Stephan Zweifler.
For More information about the Inn at 425, please visit – http://innat425.com/
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“Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.”