Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rice Hotel revisited



By the time this picture was taken -- sometime in the late '60s, early '70s -- the Rice Hotel had completed an $8 million modernization program. To attract business, the hotel put out a 28-page booklet showing off the hotel's features.

No need to register in the main lobby! Just pull into the drive-in lobby off Prairie and Travis and register at the television registration desk.












Visitors had a variety of rooms to stay in, like the Early American suite or Moroccan suite. Why not dine in the Senate Room or Flag Room?














Among the other amenities:

Cigar stand in lobby
Airline ticket offices
Western Union office in lobby
Wine Cellar
Barber shop/beauty shop
KTRH-AM on the fifth floor annex
Children under 12 stay for free!

The Rice Hotel closed as a hotel in the mid-1970s. It now operates as the Post Rice Lofts.

Check out the booklet for yourself! I've put it up for download (6.5 megs, PDF) here.

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8 Comments:

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Serena said...

That booklet is just amazing! Thanks so much for sharing it.

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

No problem! Thanks for the kind words.

 
At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Subdude said...

Believe it or not, I have the same Rice brochure. By today's standards the decoration seems a bit cheesy - check out the Moroccan Suite. The hotel closed only a few years after the booklet was published.

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Where did you get those pictures? I took some pix at the Rice a couple of years back and it looks nothing like that now.

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

Subdude: I agree. I can't imagine staying in something resembling the American suite back then. I don't even think the fireplace in the room was operational!

Jason: Those pictures came from the booklet. I was under the impression that the current look of the Rice was meant to resemble how it looked in its heyday. The look as depicted in the booklet must have been an 180 degree turn from how it looked back in the 1920s-1930s. I know the garage/pull-in lobby was demolished to make way for the new garage at the site.

 
At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't help myself and dialed (713) 227-2111 to see who was now assigned the contact number included in the brochure. It comes up as disconnected. I doubt it's been disconnected ever since the Rice closed, but you never know. Does the phone company retire numbers like sports teams (kidding)? Anyway, I was kind of hoping for a different result.

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

Hah! Well I guess that means the number is available. If possible, I guess one can get the same number once used by the Rice Hotel! Back in 1930, the hotel's number was PReston-2000.

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger GENIE72 said...

I had my wedding reception there. November 23, 1974. I'm not sure but it may have been the last one they had. Jesse Jones wife...Mary Gibbs Jones...was my great great aunt. My grandmothers aunt. Have a pic of her and she looked almost exactly like my 2 great aunts...her nieces. I remember when they sold a lot of the items from the hotel when they were closing it.

 

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