Big changes for the Mark Twain Hotel, once a place felons and sex offenders could call home

Big changes for the Mark Twain Hotel, once a place felons and sex offenders could call home
Jennifer Silverberg
After buying the Mark Twain Hotel in 1995, Amos Harris moved in on the eighth floor.

The Mark Twain Hotel — despite its long and controversial history — is still gorgeous on the outside. Intricate, cream-colored terra-cotta bands wrap three sides of the former luxury hotel, including the entirety of the second floor. Griffins and cherubs stare down at loiterers on the sidewalk in front of the entrance. Above the doors are the words "The Maryland" written in gold foil — the original name when it opened in 1907.

"When you have a bunch of folks that have felonies and criminal records, you wind up taking risks that maybe you don't want to take."

One of the tenants, a stout 45-year-old woman named C.J., sits on a concrete bench across the street from the building. Using two weathered fingers, she drags on the minuscule remains of a bummed cigarette.

C.J. (all the residents are identified by first names or pseudonyms) says she's a former heroin addict, a habit she picked up after leaving the military. She's been living in the Mark Twain for the past three weeks.

"I feel safe here," she says.

Click here to read the rest of Riverfront Times' feature story.

My Voice Nation Help

Safety is a must! we must protect ourselves from sex offenders, they can be anywhere or anytime. We can never predict when they will attack us. Protecting ourselves from sex offenders is our own duty. I am suggesting you to use this application


As most, you have no clue as to what you are talking about when it comes to sex offenders. Drunk drivers are more dangerous than sex offenders, yet getting a DUI resulting in the death of another person is dismissed while an 18 year old that has sex with his 16 year old girlfriend, is punished for LIFE!!!

PEOPLE LIKE YOU ! (Ignorant of the truth) is why knee jerk laws are on the books in the first place

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