Grand Lobby

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The Baker Hotel Lobby, Mineral Wells, Texas.

 

The Baker Hotel, an infamous landmark here in Texas, was built in the late 1920's in Mineral Wells, a town of about 30,000 people (at the time) about an hour and a half west of Dallas by hotel magnate T.B. Baker. For a town of this size, the Baker was an absolute mammoth of a Hotel, and completely dominated the skyline at the time, as it does to this very day.

 

I use the term "infamous" because of all the ghost stories surrounding this hotel. It's widely regarded as the most haunted place in Texas, and one of the most haunted in the country. You can learn more about the Baker's undead residents here.

 

So why would a modest little Texas town like Mineral Wells suddenly need a massive, 450 room luxury resort hotel in the middle of it? The answer is in the name of the town itself; the mineral wells located there, the water from which was regarded at the time as a cure for a whole range of illnesses, such as rheumatism and epilepsy.

 

For a time, the Baker became just what it's creators had envisioned; a huge resort hotel and retreat for the health-conscious well-to-do from all over the country. In it's heyday, it hosted such celebrities as Marlene Dietrich, Dorothy Lamour, Will Rodgers, Pat Boone, Tom Mix, Clyde Barrow, Jack Dempsey, Roy Rodgers, and the Three Stooges. Likewise, the Baker attracted some of the most popular musical acts of the day, such as Lawrence Welk and Guy Lombardo.

 

Around 1933, Mr. Baker passed ownership of the hotel to his nephew Earl Baker, who operated the hotel for the next 30 years. Earl had always said that when he turned 70, he would close down the Baker, and sure enough that's exactly what he did on April 30th, 1963. In 1967, Earl was found lying on the floor, succumbing to a heart attack.

 

In 1965, under the guidance of a group of local leaders, the Baker was reopened, but sadly, her time had passed, and she was closed again in 1972, this time for good.

 

Night, ambient sodium & mercury vapor through front doors, xenon streamlight & red-gelled strobe.

j wood, bornintoa and 96 more people faved this
  • Mike McMurray 7y

    Hey Noel! Yeah, I had heard the rumors too about "automatic jailtime", but we were just escorted off the property. Much to our dismay, we had only made it through the basement. However, it looks like night-time is definitely the "best" time to go about a tour!
  • LeszekZadlo PRO 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called 100 + Viewed Best Architecture Photos (add 1, award 1), and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • TamTam981 7y

    I have been to the baker several times. I went today actually. And on several visits i have seen and been seen by cops and have had no problems. One actually stopped today and waved as we were walking around the pool, but then just drove off. Anyhoo there is a large for sale sign in the yard now and I have read that they are asking $2.2 million for it. I think it is a shame to let such a big piece of history just sit and rot away. But like all the others your pics are amazing, and if you plan a trip back anytime soon i would definately like to join. I took several pictures on my visit today and got some strange things in them. Anyway sorry this is so long.
  • Sebastian T. PRO 7y

    Beautiful lighting, as usual.

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called The Urban Decay Squad, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • txmike1950 7y

    for more "ghostly" stories of the Baker Hotel go to:

    images.google.com/images?client=firefox-a&rls=org.moz... hotel orbs&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

    enjoy
  • anyjazz65 PRO 7y

    What a place. Best I could get was a couple shots through the front door windows.
  • LaDell McCoy 7y

    There are two rugs for this lobby. One for Spring/Summer and another for Fall/Winter. The Fall/Winter rug has been on display since the Baker closed it's doors. The other rug is down below the swimming pool in storage.

    Also, in the Brazos room (to the right side of the room) there is a small alcove. There is a can light fixture missing and you can see up into the ceiling area. It's there that you'll see the original matching side to the lobby. Both ends were curved as shown in the older picture which would be the opposite end of your photo. Sometime during it's later years the right side of the lobby was sealed off.
  • anyjazz65 PRO 7y

    It's a fascinating place. I must get back down there again. Thanks very much for the tour and information.
  • Ken J 7y

    Wow! cool shot and place. And to think, it's not all smashed/tagged/pilfered like EVERY abandoned place in Detroit. I know places that haven't been closed for a year in Detroit and are ruined. Nice to see this place in decent shape comparatively.
  • Birgitte Bindesbøll PRO 7y

    Fantastic! Would love to shoot there!
  • Katie Bouma 6y

    Great shot! I love the shadow cast by the chandelier.

    Your photos are simply amazing! Each location is like a step back in time. Imagine the stories these places could tell...
  • A.Temmink-Smith 6y

    i like how a poster has the original look of the place up also. Great pics
  • Brittney Gutierrez 6y

    I live in Mineral Wells. When I was in 4th grade we got to go on a tour of the whole hotel. It's by far the best thing in this stupid little town. I lvoe sneaking in there.
  • Brynne 6y

    OMG. How did you get in during the day???
  • Noel Kerns 6y

    brynnephotography - This is actually in the middle of the night; the light streaming in is from streetlights.
  • Brynne 6y

    WOW. Was this just a really long exposure? It's such an interesting light. I guess if I had read your INFO, I would have seen it was taken at night.
  • Igor Prahin PRO 4y

    This one is even better than the lobby!! Great shot!
  • Robert MacWhirter 4y

    Love this beautiful shot and the read is great !
  • misha otaared PRO 3y

    gorgeous shot -- vivid and evocative
  • Peaceful Feather photos 10mo

    Great capture!
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Taken on March 21, 2008
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