This is bag number 3 out of 13 that make up my represenation of the historic Ben Milam Hotel in downtown Houston, Texas. Built in 1928, it was Houston's most luxurious hotel and a definite hot spot for visitors coming in from Union Station (now the entrance to Minute Maid Park). Architect Joseph Finger also designed Houston's City Hall and opened the Ben Milam Hotel with 250 rooms that went for $2.00 - $2.50 a night in 1937.
The Ben Milam Hotel has a list of firsts:
- In 1932 it was the first hotel in Houston to be fully air conditioned.
- In the 1950s it was the first hotel to have a TV in every room and
- the first to have a rooftop swimming pool!
The once glamorous hotel, now thick in dust and grime, is on the waiting list for demolition by owner Marvy Finger (of no relation to the architect, Joseph Finger). The plan is to build an 8-story apartment house in its place; but who knows when, as the developer has other projects lined up ahead of the old Ben Milam Hotel.
I hope to bring attention away from our tall and shiny skyline and back to this abandoned beauty. I don’t know if the Ben Milam Hotel is structurally worth saving, but it’s definitely worth recognizing as a historic Houston landmark from the 1930s.
This piece exhibited in the group show "Menagerie" at Winter Street Studios in Houston, Texas from July 6-8.
Dimensions: 8.5" L x 1" W x 5" H
- Listed on Jul 15, 2012
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