Texas songwriter Brian Burns wrote a wonderful ballad about the Grand Old Lady called Ghosts of the Baker Hotel.
Check out the words and listen to a clip, or listen to the full song via YouTube below.
A great video showing what the hotel looked like then and now.
Many of the luxury suites featured architectural details such as arched doorways and colorfully tiled bathrooms:
The three pictures below show the fireplace in the best room in the building: the 11th floor Baker Suite. In addition to many stunning 1920s art deco design elements, the room features several interesting prohibition-era details such as a false cabinet wall for hiding liquor.
Here is the Baker Suite as it once was:
There were approximately 450 guest rooms in the Baker Hotel. However, most of them are small by today’s standards.
It’s hard to believe that the rooms once looked like this:
Here is what the Brazos Club Dining Room on the ground floor looks like today:
But the Dining Room once looked like this:
T.B. Baker spared no expense, even on the details.
While the spa facilities now look like something out of a chamber of horrors, they were a marvel of their time, back in the day:
I am not certain, but this is perhaps one of the sockets for the room key-controlled lights and fans. The feature was unusual for a hotel at the time.
The swimming pool was one of the first hotel pools in the US. T.B. Baker originally planned to build the hotel in the spot that the pool now occupies. However, after being inspired by a trip to a California hotel that had just installed a pool, he stopped construction in Mineral Wells and altered the plans. Interestingly, it is one of the only pools with an entirely concrete base (you can walk underneath it), and the tunnel and facilities beneath it are still structurally sound.
Here’s what the pool looked like in its heyday:
Here is one of the terrace walkways outside of the Sky Room – the ballroom and dance floor on the 12th floor:
This is the Spanish terra cotta and iron stairway from the front desk in the lobby up to the mezzanine floor, where the lounges, parlors, library, and the hotel manager’s office were located. Notice the beautiful heavy wooden doors.
The front desk, with mail slots behind.
The first photograph below shows what the lobby of The Baker Hotel looked like when the hotel was first completed in 1929. It was likely taken at night, since the bank of windows on the upper right were designed to let in quite a bit of natural light during the daytime.
The second photograph was taken in May 2013 through a crack in the window. (Note: If you decide to visit the building, you can get some photos like these from the outside. Please respect the no trespassing signs – for your own safety as well as for the preservation of the building!)