On December 3, 1921 the Texas Hotel formally opened:
William Monnig, W. C. Stripling, Amon Carter, and other civic leaders had formed the Citizens Hotel Company in 1919 to finance and build a showcase hotel for Fort Worth. The price tag was $3 million ($39 million today).
The hotel originally was to be named for Winfield Scott, the late capitalist who had owned Thistle Hill on Quality Hill, but the hotel opened as the “Texas Hotel.” Scott had owned the first Worth Hotel north of the Texas Hotel and the Metropolitan Hotel south of the Texas Hotel and dreamed of building a hotel between the two but died in 1911.
The Citizens Hotel Company gave the public a chance to buy stock in the hotel via a coupon in the Star-Telegram.
Not only the name but also the appearance of the hotel changed early on. On September 28, 1919 the Star-Telegram ran a full-page spread on “skyscrapers” planned or under construction as Fort Worth prospered during the oil boom. From left to right: Texas Hotel, Farmers and Mechanics National Bank, Waggoner Building (all designed by Sanguinet and Staats). (Note the hotel’s preliminary design with arcaded entrance and gabled roof. And the C-shaped footprint was similar to that of the 1926 Fort Worth Club Building, designed by . . . wait for it . . . Sanguinet and Staats.)
From The Hotel Monthly, 1922.
On November 21, 1963 the hotel welcomed the president of the United States. The Kennedys stayed in Suite 850.
The hotel parking lot where Kennedy spoke on November 22 is now part of General Worth Square.
Some views of the Hotel Texas:
From a block away, the Texas Hotel is a typical hotel building—a big brick box of beds.
Ah, but it’s a Sanguinet and Staats design. So, up close, at the bottom and top floors, it’s as decorated as any wedding cake.
On the frieze this relief of two ram heads and a pair of legs with hoofed feet always makes me not want to walk into the hotel and ask to see the restaurant menu.
Footnote: One “Winfield” building kept its name.
The Winfield Garage opened in 1920 at 8th and Calhoun streets as the parking garage of the new Winfield Hotel. The name of the hotel was changed but not the name of the garage. Clip is from the May 29, 1921 Star-Telegram.
The Winfield building survives.
The garage hosted Fort Worth’s first big auto show in 1920. This map shows the dealers and their auto makes, most of them, including the Texan, long since defunct. Clip is from the April 11, 1920 Star-Telegram.
The Winfield Garage also was the home of the Black and White Cab Company. Clip is from the July 23, 1922 Star-Telegram.