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Mineral Wells- Baker hotel on track for restoration

Mineral Wells Historic Baker Hotel Restoration

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#1 Austin55

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:08 PM

http://mineralwellsi...-for-renovation

Exciting news for a Texas landmark. I really wish more of these small towns would embrace their historic and walkable downtown areas. 



#2 Fort Worthology

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:21 PM

Would love it if it happens, but it's one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" things, considering how many other Baker restoration projects never got off the ground, though.

 

The descriptions of their planned interior decor - "Palo Pinto Chic" - sound kinda terrible, though.  Like they're going to gussy up the interiors with lots of cheesy Texas star decorations and cow hides.  Just restore it to the original appearance and let it shine.  I hope my fear about that is proven wrong.


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Fort Worth District 9 Zoning Commissioner


#3 RD Milhollin

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 12:35 PM

Mineral Well Voters approve funds to restore the Baker Hotel through sales tax increment:

 

http://www.star-tele...whelmingly.html



#4 Austin55

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 08:09 AM

There's a website up now with some info. 

http://www.thebakerhotel.com/

 

Keeping fingers crossed it happens. 



#5 JBB

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 08:21 AM

The money is there, so I think it's on the right track. I went flying with a friend a couple of years ago around the Parker-Palo Pinto-Hood area and we made a few passes over and around Mineral Wells. I'll have to look and see if I have any pics of the Baker.

#6 bburton

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 12:22 PM

Would love it if it happens, but it's one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" things, considering how many other Baker restoration projects never got off the ground, though.

 

The descriptions of their planned interior decor - "Palo Pinto Chic" - sound kinda terrible, though.  Like they're going to gussy up the interiors with lots of cheesy Texas star decorations and cow hides.  Just restore it to the original appearance and let it shine.  I hope my fear about that is proven wrong.

 

Count me in the skeptical group.  Even if this edifice were completely restored, what would compel visitors to go to and stay in Mineral Wells when the FW-D area already has more than ample attractions with more being added yearly?


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#7 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 07:52 PM

Perhaps people who want to stay closer to Possum Kingdom Lake? I can't imagine much of a demand for rooms there, but it looks like a nice hotel, so hopefully they can keep it open.


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#8 JBB

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:28 PM

I picture it being a destination for people from this area.  Maybe even an alternative to the Hill Country.  This could spur development that makes MW very similar to central Texas towns like Fredericksburg or Gruene.



#9 RD Milhollin

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 12:24 AM

I wonder if the business model sees a definite "season" for utilization of the hotel's facilities, or is demand projected as more spread out throughout the year. Besides the mineral baths perhaps there is something else people prone to staying in refurbished grand hotels would go out there for. If the railroad tracks from Weatherford were still intact an excursion train there might heave helped make up a tourist package. Ofd the old rails are now a bikeway, and the hotel is only about 4 blocks from the trailhead so provisions for bicycle tourists might be in the works. The bat refuge downtown is pretty cool but unlikely to draw the target demographic. An annual music festival might be the thing, but it would need to be stretched out to make up a "season". Perhaps an autumn Fort Worth Opera residency at an outdoor amphitheater in the close-by hills and buttes, or in a renovated theater like the Grand on Oak Street. There is the new State Park nearby, and Possum Kingdom a few miles to the northwest, but I don't know if that traffic, and that sort of traffic would be sufficient to keep the hotel booked to exceed break-even. Maybe a Three Stooges film festival, another Toadies fest... The hotel is a gem, a truly magnificent ruin now, but is in reasonably good enough condition that a full restoration could come off. That said, it is going to be a good trick to find the bookings necessary to renovate and maintain the facility to the standards it once enjoyed.



#10 Austin55

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 02:09 AM

They ought to have a few tours before the restoration starts. I'd pay money to go inside that thing with a camera. Many others have illegally. 

 

Could get a world famous author to write a horror story based on it. Think Stanley Hotel. 

 

I think what Mineral wells needs to do is really fix up a few of the streets in the downtown, ala complete streets style we have here. There's no trees on a lot of those streets. The are crumbling concrete.  Turning around that downtown would really help turn it into a getaway destination like Fredricksburg is.

Check out Sulpher Spring's redown downtown, it looks very beautiful. Brick streets and sidwalks, flowers and planters, streetside parking, etc. Then they built a park/plaza in front of the old courthouse. Hopefully those historic buildings in Mineral Wells would fill up with mom and pop type shops. 

 

Sulpher Springs, with the famous glass bathroom behind the shot.

courthousesquare8.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe turn that big hill on 14th street into a public park with a lookout over the city and hotel. Postcard material right there. 

 

4030217.jpg

http://mw2.google.co...ium/4030217.jpg

 

Look at that old sign. Bring that thing back. 

 

http://texashistory....0/m1/1/med_res/

 

Trying to think of a unique event that they could go with. 

 



#11 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:54 PM

Restoration of the Baker Hotel may depend on foreign investments.  This is a new story published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

 

http://www.star-tele...le17331029.html

 

I would love to see this hotel restored.  It's such a grand building.



#12 RD Milhollin

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 10:40 AM

Group is still trying to raise money to restore the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells. Drone photos and now-and-then imagery:

 

http://www.star-tele...le71800882.html

 

I have to ask why people would want to go to Mineral Wells and stay in the hotel. It seems to me that there needs to be more of a "package" of things to do, maybe a (sorry) "dude ranch", horseback tours on a dedicated trail system, an arts scene with events year-round, gambling, cannabis availability, space tourism, aerial tramway, etc. something to make out-of-towners want to go out there. Public spas featuring the "crazy water" would be nice, a film festival, jazz festival, artist colony, an annual meeting of world leaders and intelligentsia, ... I suppose there a lot of ways a small town an hour and a half away from the closest major city could attract tourists, and I would think that the investors in a restored Baker Hotel would want to explore as many as possible.



#13 RD Milhollin

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 09:07 AM

More info about the EB-5 Visa Program which allows investors (as in the Baker Hotel) to "buy" visas by investing in a project that employs citizens. Toward the bottom of the article there is a reference to Fort Wolters, a military installation that dates back to 1925 but which served as the primary helicopter training center during the Vietnam War. Causal relationship between the active military facility and a successful Baker Hotel? The hotel opened in 1929; the fort closed in 1975 after a phased downsizing, and the hotel closed in 1972.

 

http://www.star-tele...le72337157.html







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mineral Wells, Historic, Baker Hotel, Restoration

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