Friday, October 15, 2010

Ballad Of The Baker: Is The Baker Hotel In Mineral Wells Really Being Restored?

It has been at least 10 years since I first saw the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells. Soon after I saw the Baker Hotel I made a webpage about it.

At that point in time there was no other webpage devoted to the Baker Hotel, near as I could tell.  So, for years, my webpage about the Baker Hotel Googled in the #1 spot.

That is no longer the case. There is a lot of Baker Hotel info on the Internet in 2010, including a sort of Official Baker Hotel website.

During the years when my webpage about the Baker Hotel Googled #1, causing people to think I was somehow associated with it, I have lost count of the number of emails I've gotten asking me questions about buying the hotel, who owns it, what I'm asking for it. And the weirdest one, asking me to pick someone up, flying in from Los Angeles, at D/FW Airport, and transport them to Mineral Wells to the Baker Hotel.

Over the decades that the Baker Hotel has sat idle, in ever failing health, there have been many rumors about plans to restore it to its former glory.

It appears that this is finally going to happen. And is actually underway, due to the renovation efforts of someone named Jeff Trigger.

Trigger allegedly has a $52 million budget, which he will spend to re-do and modernize the hotel rooms, restore the grand lobby to its heyday splendor, restore the Baker Hotel's outdoor swimming pool and mineral bath. With an indoor floor dedicated to what made Mineral Wells famous. Its mineral water.

The Baker Hotel renovation project is far enough along that a movie is being made of the effort, called The Ballad of the Baker. The Ballad of the Baker even has a website. That is a snapshot from the website in the picture above. You can go to the website and view videos of the movie trailer and the Baker Hotel renovation.

I feel like taking a short roadtrip out to Mineral Wells and verifying this project is actually underway. I've been burned by this type news before. Like being told, quite earnestly, that the New Isis Theater Eyesore in the Fort Worth Stockyards is being renovated. Years later the New Isis is a worse eyesore than ever.

I hope the new Baker Hotel is able to make a go of it. Will the mineral springs still be able to attract visitors? There really is not a lot going on in Mineral Wells, tourist hotspot-wise, that would seem to draw people, besides the novelty of the restored hotel. Maybe this will turn Mineral Wells into a tourist town, with shops and galleries and good restaurants.

6 comments:

Jayson said...

I was born and raised in Mineral Wells, and have heard the stories of the Baker's past all my life. I pray everyday that this Grand Old Lady gets restored. That building is basically the heart and soul of Mineral Wells. It's a testament of the once great things that happened in Mineral Wells, and a way of life that doesn't exist anymore. To see her restored to her former glory would be a tremendous boost to the pride of the local residents.

Anonymous said...

I completely concur with you, Jayson. I had a good friend that lived in Mineral Wells some years back, and when coming into Mineral Wells from the North *Oklahoma*, we would come by way passing that old "haunted hospital" back behind the Baker a ways, then coming up there along the side of it to our Left...it sits sort of "Caddy Corner" the way that it faces. I would always get so, so excited when it would be late at night getting back to MW from Oklahoma, and seeing the Baker as we got into town...it was a total kiddish treat for me personally simply because I adore Mineral Wells very much. I knew then that we were "home". It was such an amazing feeling. I have always made a firm pact with myself - should I EVER come into the likes of money that most could only dream of, I would spend most EVERY Dime *I am in NO way kidding with this statement* restoring, pouring my everything back into the Baker Hotel, in a sense not so much just restoring, but doing what I am able in turning back the clock...looking into the structure, the bricks, the mortar, the stone, EVERYTHING turning it back into its ORIGINAL grand "self" in every sense Humanly possible, down to the very last singular nail. A venture of this magnitude would be rewarded by a complete return no doubt, as the place would certainly be packed, completely full each and everyday of the entire year long, patrons wolfing down ORIGINAL BAKER MENU treats in the resturant, celebrities of today making reservations to stay in the premiere jewel of the Mid-SouthWest, just as they did all those many years ago. I hope to again see the Baker one more time before I leave this Earth, and I also hope to be able to this time actually step onto those historic grounds, perhaps only briefly sneak into the courtyard that one always sees as you turn Left and pass there in front of it...so that I might just scoop into the ground and respectfully of course, take but a single pebble with me as a reminder of something so very, very special...a single, simple rock from the very historic ground of so many lavish parties, so many memorable events, and that very soil that so many of those aforementioned celebrities walked on of a warm Spring or Summer evening with a tasty drink in hand made by one of the Baker's very own. The Baker very much IS Mineral Wells. The Baker IS a large slice of America's along with Hollywood's grand and lavish history. Somehow by golly - the Baker is "home" to me, and always will be.

~Jae~

BallerCraig said...

My grandma and grandpa lived there starting in the '80s, grew up in Gordon but Mineral Wells was like Manhattan to them. Going dead when they moved which is why their house was only $20K.

I had an Austin baseball kiddie team shit on at a convenience store while playing a coin video game and two MW boys looking at my shirt and freaking, probably thinking I was a Manhattan Yankee.

Anonymous said...

hi i am a investor that is willing to build the hotel to original state that is to the exacting amount of tile on the wall well what im do here is try to contact the own of the grand old lady for purchase i got as far as entering the old lady with escort of fire marshal and officers for a inspection of the premises and back ground info to me up to a name of a man but i need to contact this JEF T. woud anyone know where i can even get any info asap because my goal is to have her finish by the end of 2013 you can contact me at nickolyash@yahoo.com

thank you for your time

Andrea Haney granddaughter of Evans & Louise Holland said...

When I was a little girl I visited my grandparents in Mineral Wells. As soon as we were coming down the road of Magic Valley ranch my sister and I would always get excited because we knew we we almost there and could see the grand hotel. I lived in Mineral Wells my junior year of high school and always admired the structure. I really hope someone will try to restore this. Mineral Wells needs a boost! If historical courthouses are maintained then why not the Baker. I just went back for the first time since high school on Labor Day to visit my grandparents graves in Sturdivant Cemetary and was disheartened by the once beautiful building in shamble

Andrea Haney granddaughter of Evans & Louise Holland said...

Please anonymous whoever you are restore her to her original beauty! Mineral Wells is so rich in history and rich in my family's history. It is so sad to see it in this condition.