Friday, January 6, 2012

Abandoned since 1972 - Baker Hotel in Texas

In the small town of Mineral Springs located in Northern Texas lies Baker Hotel, a hotel with history.  Barker Hotel was built in the late 1920's and opened up in 1929.  At the time it was a pimping hotel!   It cost 1.2 million in 1929 dollars to build this 450 room swank hotel.  Amenities included 2 ballrooms, an in-house beauty shop, and other novelties such as a bowling alley, a gymnasium, and an outdoor swimming pool.  Guests to the hotel were treated to an advanced hydraulic system that circulated ice water to all 450 guest rooms, lighting and fans controlled by the door locks that shut off and on automatically when the guest left or arrived in their rooms, and a valet compartment where guests could deposit soiled laundry that was accessible by hotel staff without them ever even having to enter the guest's room.

(The day before the hotel opened, the stock market crashed kicking off the great depression)

This is all very well and good, so why is it empty today?  Well, in a post World War II world guests came less and less to this big hotel in a small town.  It shut down briefly in 1963 then re-opened up 2 years later under new management.  Then in 1967 the hotels namesake, Earl Parker, was found unconscious on the floor of the large Baker Suite and passed on from a heart attack.  In 1972 the Barker Hotel closed its doors for good.

  So for nearly 40 years the hotel has been rusting away in the Northern Texas weather.  Several groups have tried to buy the hotel for a rehab but, to date, nothing has happened yet.   In the meantime the hotel enjoys a ragging ghost reputation, in fact, some say it's the most haunted place in America.   Part of this is due to Mr. Bakers death and the other part lies in the suicide of the hotel managers mistress.  She jumped from her 7th story room and now her spirit is often seen roaming the grounds.

Bonus Link:  Google Map of Baker Hotel.

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