I’ve always loved the concept of taking something old and making it new again. Apparently, the powers that be here at Unity World Headquarters have a fondness for this concept as well. Last year, Unity renovated Fillmore Manor and listed it on Airbnb as a campus guest accommodation.
Fillmore Manor is a stunning nod to the vibrant history of Unity, while also incorporating all the conveniences of modern-day living. The home was built in 1921 for Rickert Fillmore (son of the Unity founders) and his growing family from plans drawn up by Kansas City, Missouri, architect Elmer Boillot. The two-story residence included a living room, an inglenook (a recessed area adjoining a large brick and stone fireplace), a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. Rickert and his wife Harriet Collins moved into the home shortly after their son, Charles R., was born. Their daughter Rosemary Fillmore Rhea was born in the house in 1925—the only person ever born here at Unity. Rickert entertained many guests in his home, including artist Thomas Hart Benton, Kansas City mayor H. Roe Bartle, and Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards.
The house was recently revitalized as part of the Unity commitment to expand lodging options on campus. Fillmore Manor retained its historic English Cotswold stylings, complete with half timbers and honey-colored limestone (quarried on the grounds). The interior, however, was upgraded, now featuring hardwood flooring, a fully equipped kitchen, a large living area with views of the campus, and a stone patio (barbeque grill included).
The house now has four bedrooms, including a master bedroom with a king-size bed, one bedroom with two full-size beds, and two bedrooms with one full-size bed each. The home can comfortably sleep up to 10 people, making it perfect for large families, reunions, retreats, and other special occasions.
Other house essentials include hair dryers in both remodeled bathrooms, fine linens and towels, an iron and ironing board, a Keurig coffeemaker, kitchen cookware and utensils, toiletries, air-conditioning, premium cable television, and free Wi-Fi. Guests receive a complimentary hot continental breakfast at the Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center, a short walk away. Guests also get free access to the campus fitness center.
Although I have yet to stay in Fillmore Manor, I’m impressed with the three pages of glowing reviews on Airbnb, including these:
“It was the perfect location for celebrating Thanksgiving, having a small bridal shower, and hosting seven family members who had traveled a distance to attend our daughter’s wedding.”—Ken, November 2018
“We were in town for my son’s wedding, but we didn’t want to leave this beautiful place! Fall in all its splendor surrounded Fillmore Manor … The host paid attention to every detail, providing every amenity you could need when traveling with family.”—Janet, November 2018
With a five-star Airbnb rating and rates of only $225 per night, Fillmore Manor is the perfect choice for a serene stay in the Kansas City area. It’s just five minutes away from downtown Lee’s Summit and 15 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City.
For more information, visit airbnb.com and search “Fillmore Manor.”