Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Baker Hotel In Mineral Wells May Be Brought Back To Life

In the picture you are in Mineral Wells on top of a Palo Pinto Mountain, looking at the Baker Hotel.

I really think the Palo Pinto Mountains should be more accurately named the Palo Pinto Hills.

A few months after my Exile in Texas began I was out and about exploring the territory and was surprised to come upon a little town named Mineral Wells that had a gigantic abandoned hotel sitting in its downtown zone.

A year or two after first seeing it I made a webpage about the Baker Hotel on my Eyes on Texas website.

Over the years I've received several emails from people interested in buying and restoring the Baker Hotel. Asking if I knew who to contact. One or two were befuddled into thinking I was directly involved with the Baker Hotel. I remember one person was flying in from Los Angeles and asked if I could meet them and take them to the Baker Hotel.

Well, the Baker Hotel has been in the local news the past few days due to a fresh effort to restore the Baker Hotel (and Mineral Wells) to its former glory. Apparently $54 million has to be found. Officials in Mineral Wells and a development team are trying to put all the puzzle pieces together to turn the former 450 room hotel into a 4 star resort of 155 rooms, with the top floor ballroom restored and a spa with the waters that made Mineral Wells famous.

This is not the first time I've read that the long neglected Baker Hotel was going to get fixed.

Three years ago I wrote the following on my website about efforts to restore the hotel...

"After over 3 decades of floundering in an ever increasing state of decay, with numerous attempts by many to find some way to develop the Baker Hotel for a modern use, the city of Mineral Wells has, as of November, 2007, taken an active role in trying to restore the hotel to its former glory. The city has created a tax increment finance district hoping to entice potential developers to re-vitalize the Baker. The city has a 14 month agreement with the hotel's current owner to aggressively market the building to developers. The city will be doing feasibility and building examinations for the next 2 months. We can save them some trouble, the structure is sound, but it desperately needs a new roof."

I hope it all works out, this time, and the Baker Hotel is restored. And I hope the restoration stays true to the Baker Hotel's art deco style.

1 comment:

paul said...

They, (they being the owners of said hotel) should give tours. Old buildings like this are truly, truly, not being built like they used to be. I'll bet there's architectural details and historical touchstones with our past, yet buried beneath generations of dust, that'll amaze our touristy eyes.