From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 1, 1987:
Souvenir cards reading "The Eldridge Lives!" had been passed out to people who had stopped by the Eldridge House's opening night on New Year's Eve. The $3 million renovation had been finished sufficiently to have an official opening reception, but developer Rob Phillips said that he had planned to have more work finished by the year's end. The hotel had been opened on Dec. 31st primarily to allow investors to claim tax credits on their 1986 returns instead of waiting another year. During the reception, random construction noises were still being heard, but visitors were impressed by the work so far. Workers still needed to polish the restored original lobby floor, and lobby furniture had not yet arrived, but there were goldfish in the indoor fishpond (or at least, in a glass bowl sitting inside the empty pond). Visitors to the Crystal Ballroom were impressed at the clean chandeliers, new carpet, and beautifully detailed walls and ceiling. The restaurant, named the Winthrop Room, was up and running, serving a choice of six entrees on New Year's Eve, and the one suite upstairs that was ready for occupancy was booked to David and Linda Kohlman.