What Lies Beneath the Statler Hilton's Surface as Clean-Up Begins Inside Landmark Hotel

For those who don't know what these are, they're the phone booths inside the old Statler.
For those who don't know what these are, they're the phone booths inside the old Statler.
Photo by Noah Jeppson

A couple of days ago, Candy Evans posted a pic of the asbestos remediation taking place inside everybody's favorite downtown obsession, the Statler Hilton, which is now in the possession of Leobardo Trevino. And just as Trevino promised last month, the place already looks much different than it did when Sam and I got our tour. The clean-up's in full swing.

For those in need of further proof, today our pal Noah Jeppson posts his own peek -- a follow-up to his tour of the next-door library that Trevino also owns. As Noah says in his heads-up email to Unfair Park, the Statler walk-through is his contribution to Preservation Texas's MODern Month, which runs through April. Writes Noah in his look back and sneak peek of what lies ahead:

Having met with historical preservation officials, the team is slowly peeling back layers of unflattering renovations. Original terrazzo floors have been revealed beneath carpet; the motorized stage in the Empire Room (able to lower for ice skating performances and raise for concerts) is still there; the front desk may be hiding its original marble panels. Scattered throughout the building are wonderful Mid-Century surprises (and some areas that make you wonder "what were they thinking?"). The distinctive facade is already being prepped for a good cleaning. ...

The shear size of the structure (we didn't even see the lower levels on our tour) makes the renovated structure a prime candidate for mixed-use development. A combination of residential, entertainment and retail uses could go into the space with room left over. The popularity of Main Street Garden (which opened in 2009) may entice restaurants to fill the ground floor spaces; wonderful skyline and park views may convince residents to make this their new home.

Noah's got 55 more photos from his tour like the one above, each one worth a look.


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