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Baker Hotel Video


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#1 Pam Lea

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

My husband and I visited the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells this weekend. We didn't see any ghosts, but we did take video of it. Of course it is still in bad shape, and there are windows out. We could have crawled through
one but I was too much of a chicken. We did get some interior shots however. It is so beautiful.


Be warned we are not professional movie makers...








Hope you enjoy.

#2 Brian Luenser

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE(Pam Lea @ Jun 11 2007, 05:27 PM) View Post

My husband and I visited the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells this weekend. We didn't see any ghosts, but we did take video of it. Of course it is still in bad shape, and there are windows out. We could have crawled through
one but I was too much of a chicken. We did get some interior shots however. It is so beautiful.


Be warned we are not professional movie makers...








Really enjoyed both videos! Thank you. (Very well done)

What a fantastic building. My favorite, but I never had the time to stop and look.
This reminds me I need to make a trip out of it.
I think I heard there was a book of the building. I am going to start looking for it.


www.fortworthview.com

#3 Pam Lea

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

Thanks... maybe you will be brave enough to crawl through the window.... I was afraid of critters more than ghosts..

#4 Brian Luenser

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:30 PM

My favorite building in the world. A skyscraper in a little town. Can't beat it. It is all relative. Amarillo is almost 4,000 feet above sea level. Who cares, because is is flat farmland. (No valley to tower over.) A building this tall in a City? Not a big deal. In Mineral Wells? Wow!







A shot of the back. Exotic bridge to parking.


Peaking in through a window.

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#5 cbellomy

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:57 PM

XTO needs this building for their Palo Pinto County operations. biggrin.gif

#6 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 12:30 AM

It would take millions (billions?--it's a ruin) to restore the Baker, but perhaps the time is right. Its proximity to FW/D makes it right for those seeking vacations with low fuel consumption-lo-impact. Luxurious pamper vac's: an outstanding restaurant, and restoration of all the spa-mineral water facilities might be a draw in these modern times.

#7 Brian Luenser

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (Birdland in Handley @ Aug 25 2008, 01:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It would take millions (billions?--it's a ruin) to restore the Baker, but perhaps the time is right. Its proximity to FW/D makes it right for those seeking vacations with low fuel consumption-lo-impact. Luxurious pamper vac's: an outstanding restaurant, and restoration of all the spa-mineral water facilities might be a draw in these modern times.


Someplace this weekend, I guess on-line, I heard a 30 million dollar figure for Restoration. I believe a man in Phoenix AZ owns the building now. (Wonder what he paid, and why?) If it were to sell for 5 million that is 35 million. (Not counting bags of those fancy chocolates for pillows) They would sure have to have some sense of being 30% occupied on average to break even. (Not real numbers but go along with me.) That may be hard to do in Mineral Wells.

I just wish I had a nickel for every rumor that ever hit Mineral Wells concerning the status of the grand building. They go like this... "I heard Jerry Jones is looking for a Hotel to turn into a sports Hotel and of course his grandmother came from Mineral Wells and everybody knows it's the only building in the county tall enough to see the new stadium which, of course, Jerry needs to be able to see ..." A BILLION versions. Try it. I heard _________ is looking to buy a Hotel for _______ and Mineral Wells is the best place because ___________. They are supposed to start work in _________ and they say they are going to need __,000 employees to start. In fact they are going to pay $________ per square foot for all the surrounding land!

I do love that building. But it is in such bad shape just with what you can see from the street. There was a strong odor that seemed familiar from some time in my past. Couldn't place it. My wife did. Rodent droppings. Of all kinds likely. Yikes. The place has a bad roof right now. That's surely a shame. Seems like the city even would fix that.
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#8 BobZupcic

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 05:32 PM

It is very interesting that all of this conversation is going on today. I happened to stop by Mineral Wells on my way back from Possum Kingdom this weekend. I haven't been able to get the Baker out my mind since.

The building and the considerable amount of land on the adjacent corners is on the market for $2.2M. The land owner (indeed Greg Horn of Phoenix) and the city have setup a TIF and other tax breaks for the eventual redevelopment of the area. Mr Horn, and the city, have had estimates of the vast amount of work that needs to be done and they are claiming $40-50M. The good and bad news is that he will only sell to a large, experienced developer that is willing to work with the city and agree to several points of the proposed restoration and redevelopment of the area. They believe that about 40% of the $50M+ cost of the project could be recouped from the tax incentives and TIF.

As monee says, everybody has a story and it is hard to imagine something that grand decaying to something worthless. The mind wonders about the possibilities. I've tried to put pencil to paper on a way to make it work and it always comes back to what has already been stated...can a local and relatively stagnant economy support the work to restore and then the operation of the business? I suppose it was more palatable when the town had a population of nearly 4 times what it was today. But more than anything, in her day, the hotel had the allure and mystique of the healing powers of "Crazy Water". Now the town and the tales it tells is little more than a novelty act.

#9 Brian Luenser

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:50 PM

QUOTE (BobZupcic @ Aug 25 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is very interesting that all of this conversation is going on today. I happened to stop by Mineral Wells on my way back from Possum Kingdom this weekend. I haven't been able to get the Baker out my mind since.

The building and the considerable amount of land on the adjacent corners is on the market for $2.2M. The land owner (indeed Greg Horn of Phoenix) and the city have setup a TIF and other tax breaks for the eventual redevelopment of the area. Mr Horn, and the city, have had estimates of the vast amount of work that needs to be done and they are claiming $40-50M. The good and bad news is that he will only sell to a large, experienced developer that is willing to work with the city and agree to several points of the proposed restoration and redevelopment of the area. They believe that about 40% of the $50M+ cost of the project could be recouped from the tax incentives and TIF.

As monee says, everybody has a story and it is hard to imagine something that grand decaying to something worthless. The mind wonders about the possibilities. I've tried to put pencil to paper on a way to make it work and it always comes back to what has already been stated...can a local and relatively stagnant economy support the work to restore and then the operation of the business? I suppose it was more palatable when the town had a population of nearly 4 times what it was today. But more than anything, in her day, the hotel had the allure and mystique of the healing powers of "Crazy Water". Now the town and the tales it tells is little more than a novelty act.


Gee, thanks Bob, for adding some real numbers to my pretend world. I was guessing it would be 5 million to buy. My partner and I were looking at buying The Blackstone in DTFW in 1995? It was selling for One Million Dollars. (Sounds like Austin Powers numbers) We then found out it was going to be like 20 million to get it to code. Whoops. Sorry we bothered you. Really, I thought 5 million for the Baker would have been high but I gave it bonus points for huge history.

I am attaching a pic I took on the North Side of this amazing building. I didn't want to include it because it is not terribly flattering of the building. But it gives us a little better feel for how run-down this place is. Really sad. I just showed my wife the pic and she said, "I guess they may just need to level it." Hard to hear but could be true. It could be until the 1930's return it may not be worth the kind of money it would take to just be safe, much less glorious. I do wish the City would do a little better job of securing this building. No more vandalism, put a roof on it, catch a rat or two, etc...


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#10 bailey

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:43 PM

I have a personal ghost story from being a guest at the Baker Hotel. In 1960 when I was 8 years old I visited the Baker one weekend with my parents and aunt and uncle. We went there often and as a kid I just loved the pool. My uncle had arthritis so he spent time in the mineral baths and message areas. My parents and I had one room and my aunt and uncle another room. My uncle always paid for our expenses and he only carried cash. He didn't even have a credit card. On Saturday night after dinner we returned to our rooms. My uncle had his money in his billfold and put it on the dresser when he undressed for the night. The next morning he and my aunt got up and we were going to breakfast. His billfold was no longer on the dresser. The hotel security was called and they searched everywhere in the room for the billfold. There had been no one in the room so it was a mystery where the billfold had gone. While searching the room, the security guard pulled up the end of the mattress and there was the billfold between the end of the bed and the mattress. There was no indication on how it could have gotten there. The security guard opened the billfold in front of all of us and all the money was gone. To this day, this is a topic of discussion in our family. The ghost of the Baker is a reality as we could find no other explanation.

#11 Brian Luenser

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 08:48 AM

Today in Star Telegram...

http://www.star-tele...ory/971982.html

A local architect tells me that anything that deals with Senior Citizens is a sure thing. Guess it's that old supply and demand thing.

However, if I had a nickel for every time big plans were pending on this magnificent building...
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