Friday, November 7, 2008

Mineral Wells, Texas - The Baker Hotel

The Baker Hotel was built by,T. B. Baker, who also owned the Baker in Dallas and the Saint Anthony in San Antonio. It had 14 stories and 450 rooms,with space for 50"apartments" above the main roof line. These premium rooms had the benefit of the rooftop "solarium."

A Spanish Renaissance design, modeled after the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas the Baker opened it's doors November 11, 1929, just two weeks after the stock market crash of 1929. It filed for bankruptcy in 1932. When it opened as a spa for the rich and famous,guests included Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Will Rogers, Ernest Tubb, the Three Stooges, and many other celebrities. The Baker served as military dependent quarters from 1941 to 1944 and was open until closing in 1963. It reopened briefly from 1965-1972 but the doors have been shut since then.

The Baker seen from the East. The swimming pool is in the fore ground and apparently featured a large fountain/wading pool. The pool was connected to the hotel by a bridge.

The formal entrance faced the Southeast. It features a three tiered stairway with multiple lamp posts.

The Cloud Room, a large ballroom was located on the top floor of the hotel.

To the left (behind locked gate) is the pool access bridge. You can also see the pool pavilion which is visible on the right center.

A veranda was located on the west side of the hotel. Shopping and guest services were located on the street level.

This is a detail of the barbershop located at street level.

This is the auto garage located across the street from the main entrance.

This is the Baker today, and this is it in better days:

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