• Menu
  • Menu
4 acre motel

4 Acre Motel

Location Class:
Built: ~1940 | Abandoned: 2016
Status: AbandonedBurned DownEndangered
Photojournalist: Darrell Powers

The once beautiful 4 Acre Motel was constructed around 1940 and dubbed the “Prosperous for All”. With its 24 rooms in a “Liberty-style” building, a family restaurant, cocktail lounge, 24-hour office, complimentary self-parking, housekeeping, and a vending machine the 4 Acre was convenient for all. Improvements were made in the late fifties with an enlargement to two of the units and the construction of a swimming/wading pool, and an office and lobby building, making this a destination.

But by the turn of the decade, it was sold to investors for $525,000 from Ed Bockelman. At the time of the purchase, the originally 24-room motel was now 71 units. Sidney Schwartz came forward identifying himself as the purchaser and that he had a great interest in investing in Kansas City.

Decades of Crime

The Four Acre motel is no stranger to illegal activity, when it was open and after its closure. Some of the major news that has come out of the hotel dates almost all the way back to its opening.

The Kansas City Star – March 30, 1952

Four persons lie wounded after a holdup failed last night when police arrived on the scene before three youthful bandits could escape. This scene is of the 4-Acre Motel. The arrow points to the motel office door where two bandits and a young wife were shot. The No. 1 indicates the position of Mrs. Alta Carstens, 29 years old, wife of one of the motel operators, wounded in the left leg and thigh during the affray. No. 2 indicates Ben F. King 18, who died on the way to the General Hospital. No 3. indicates the position inside the door of Leroy J. Dreiling 16 who suffered four wounds. No. 4 is the position of Kenneth F. Stuart 38, patrolman wounded in the left chest and reportedly in dangerous condition at the Menorah hospital.

The Kansas City Times – July 17, 1953

Two men held up the manager of the Four-Acre Motel about 10:30 pm last night and escaped with $25. Clarence J. Henny the manager told police that one of the men produced a revolver while the other went behind a desk to get the money. Both men who wore handkerchiefs over their faces ran west.

The Kansas City Star – July 19, 1983

Employees of a Kansas City motel found the body of a 39-year-old man early today after being contacted by friends concerned about his welfare. Sgt. John Dawson of the homicide bureau said Edward Leon Willet formerly of Arkansas was shot once in the lower back. His body was found about 2 am today in a room at the Four Acre Motel.

The Kansas City Star – April 10, 1992

When their water suddenly turned off the owners of the Four Acre Motel called the KC Water Department to complain. Their bill was paid so why was the water shut off?  A crew went out to check behind the building and gave them the bad news: The motel, like dozens of other KC victims this year, was dry because thieves had walked off with the water meter.

The Kansas City Star – March 8, 1993

Two men were shot late Saturday during a disturbance at the Four Acre Motel. A 29-year-old man was taken to RMC with at least three wounds none of which were life-threatening. The second victim a 35-year-old man in another room was wounded by a stray bullet. Witnesses told police that six men burst into a room occupied by several men and forced the 29-year-old outside. After several shots were fired the victim returned to the room and collapsed.

Fox 4 Kansas City – September 21, 2016

Jackson County prosecutors charged the father of Daizsa Bausby with her death on Wednesday. Daizsa was found dead in a motel room at the 4 Acre Motel in March at just 18-years old. Prosecutors charged her father, Jerry K. Bausby, 40, with first-degree murder. He’s also been charged with first-degree sodomy, first-degree incest and sexual abuse in connection to the case.

According to police, Daizsa’s mother filed a missing person report on March 20, and the following day cleaning crews found the Southwest High School student’s body inside a room at the 4 Acre Motel. According to police, Daizsa died of suffocation.

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says she’s filed the highest felony charges possible against Jerry for what she says can only be described as a particularly heinous crime.“She was really a beautiful person,” Peters Baker said. “I really can’t stress enough how in the face of all odds, how she found success and she achieved. It’s more than we can expect from any human being, but Daisza showed us what she was capable of.”

Jerry was identified as a suspect early in the case. Investigators say he had rented the motel room. Surveillance video shows a person matching his description entering and leaving the room. Prosecutors had to wait nearly six months for the results of DNA testing before bringing the charges against the father. “Incest in this case is an appropriate charge,” Peters Baker said. “It accompanies the murder charge, and it accompanies some of the other sexual assault charges we leveled against her father. They are appropriate in this case. We felt it was important to tell the whole story.”

The prosecutor says DNA results complete the account of the horrors that took place in the motel room, something the victim can no longer describe for herself. As part of Kansas City’s Early College Academy, Daizsa would have graduated with dual credits to also earn an associate’s degree. She was captain of the cheerleading squad, the Southwest High School salutatorian, and worked at the Foot Locker store on the Plaza. Daizsa leaves behind her mother and four siblings.  She was the second of the four siblings. Prosecutors have requested that Jerry Bausby’s bond be set at $750,000.

Prostitution was a huge ongoing problem in the area, to the point where residents pleaded with local police to do something to end it siting the 4-acre Motel as a place they frequented. Police said they were doing all they could even doing a sting operation but it did little to help. Kansas City, in an effort to combat motel/hotel prostitution, introduced an ordinance ban on “by the hour” motels.

Deterioration and Neglect

But something that has plagued America is patrons turning away from these iconic family motels with fancy signs to high-end resort-style hotels. Leaving many of these to lose out to their competitors. But the stories I listed above were just a fraction of those that were documented, leading me to believe that area and the crime that plagued the hotel from the start were what led to the closure. The 4-acre Motel officially closed in 2016 and it wasn’t long after that transients in the area and vandals staked their claim on the property. Trash now litters all the rooms and graffiti covers the buff brick.

Right before tragedy hit, in December of 2019 after years of pursuing leads the LUMI Museum was able to gain ownership of the iconic sign when a new owner and a concerned neighbor were able to work with the museum to facilitate the donation. To donate to the museum for the sign restoration you can visit here.

In February of 2020, the nail was put in the coffin and the fate of this ravaged spot was sealed. A fire started in the basement and extended all the way to the attic completely engulfing the main office of the motel. Unfortunately in our line of work, we see this all too often, historic buildings burning to the ground. Our mission is to connect developers to these properties and see them restored into something beautiful once again but it is those that have no care for preservation that often decide the ending for these buildings.



















4 Acre Motel
Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

If you wish to support our current and future work, please consider making a donation or purchasing one of our many books. Any and all donations are appreciated.

Donate to our cause Check out our books!

Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

View Locations
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Copyright © 2009- - Abandoned Atlas Foundation - board@AbandonedAtlas.com | Designed By Prairie Nation Creative, LLC - Disclaimer

error: Content is copyright protected by The Abandoned Atlas Foundation. To request the use of information/media: board@abandonedatlas.com or copy and paste link to post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x