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Sam Houston Hotel


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Name change

After nearly three years, the chic Sam Houston Hotel has a new name.

The boutique inn, which opened in 2002 in a historic building at 1117 Prairie, is now known as Alden-Houston.

A snag with online search sites was part of the reason for the name change. Sites directed users looking for the downtown property to a hotel on the Sam Houston Parkway.

"We needed to find a neutral name," said Bill Franks, president of Spire Realty, which owns the hotel.

The only other significant change will be the removal of the lobby's impressive sepia-toned mural of the Battle of San Jacinto, where Gen. Sam Houston led his troops to victory.

The company may also open more hotels in other cities, and it wanted a recognizable brand name.

"Sam Houston doesn't mean much in Atlanta, Ga., New York City or Chicago, Ill.," Franks said.

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A snag with online search sites was part of the reason for the name change. Sites directed users looking for the downtown property to a hotel on the Sam Houston Parkway.

"We needed to find a neutral name," said Bill Franks, president of Spire Realty, which owns the hotel.

The only other significant change will be the removal of the lobby's impressive sepia-toned mural of the Battle of San Jacinto, where Gen. Sam Houston led his troops to victory.

The company may also open more hotels in other cities, and it wanted a recognizable brand name.

"Sam Houston doesn't mean much in Atlanta, Ga., New York City or Chicago, Ill.," Franks said.

Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana but is finally done in by bad Googling.

"Yeah, and let's get rid of that ugly mural while we're at it. It just confuses the people from Poughkeepsie." :blink:

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What? Poughkeepsie? What does the mural look like?

Citykid, it could be Poughkeepsie, Peoria or Pasadena. What I meant was the new owner wants to rid the place of anything related to Sam Houston because he thinks no one from out of town can relate to our history.

It's a shame that he appears to be so cavalier about something so historic as the mural and about our city's history in general. I understand the mural probably clashes with the Alden-Houston boutique hotel theme, however, on their website, they make several references to the history of the building;

The landmark Alden Houston Hotel is downtown Houston's finest luxury boutique hotel, welcoming its guests to a timeless setting that combines classic architecture with cutting-edge, contemporary design. Personalized service and high tech amenities are trademarks of the hotel, whose renaissance has restored a Houston treasure.

Seems to me that if they truly appreciate the history of the "timeless setting" and the "classic architecture" of the "restored Houston treasure" the last thing they would want to do would be to destroy a mural that 1) is over, what, 80 years old, 2) is part of the original design of the building and 3) depicts something important to the city's history.

So, it seems obvious to me that they are simply using the historic elements as more "boutique" selling points and personally don't give a damn about any of that.

I understand they're wanting to do what's best for their business, and their success here is good for Houston, but perhaps if they knew that the mural was loved by citizens they would not destroy it.

I plan on taking a trip over there to stare at the mural long enough to get their attention. Just imagine if hundreds did the same thing.

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Name change

After nearly three years, the chic Sam Houston Hotel has a new name.

The boutique inn, which opened in 2002 in a historic building at 1117 Prairie, is now known as Alden-Houston.

A snag with online search sites was part of the reason for the name change. Sites directed users looking for the downtown property to a hotel on the Sam Houston Parkway.

"We needed to find a neutral name," said Bill Franks, president of Spire Realty, which owns the hotel.

The only other significant change will be the removal of the lobby's impressive sepia-toned mural of the Battle of San Jacinto, where Gen. Sam Houston led his troops to victory.

The company may also open more hotels in other cities, and it wanted a recognizable brand name.

"Sam Houston doesn't mean much in Atlanta, Ga., New York City or Chicago, Ill.," Franks said.

this irks me...

the sam houston hotel has been the sam houston hotel for over eighty years, the mural is going bye-bye, and sam houston isn't supposed to mean much in atlanta, new york or chicago

the history of the hotel pre-Alden

and what's next - scrubbing off the old painted room rates on the side of the building?

:angry:

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this irks me...

the sam houston hotel has been the sam houston hotel for over eighty years, the mural is going bye-bye, and sam houston isn't supposed to mean much in atlanta, new york or chicago  :angry:

It should, its apart of American history, and with out him half of the United States would not be apart of the US. Him adding Texas brought along California and mostly all of the western states.

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I don't like the name change but can deal with it. But removing the mural because of it? That makes absolutely no sense at all! I don't see the point in destroying a piece of artwork because they're changing the name. Many hotels feature artwork and decorative themes related to the local area and its history. Why not use this as the basis for creating a signature item for Alden hotels, if they do expand outside Houston? Each one could have a similar piece in the lobby depicting something important to the local area's history and culture. They could also keep the Sam Houston name by calling the place something like the "Alden Sam Houston Hotel." Other companies, like Wyndham, have done this with their historic properties.

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Just an FYI.. the mural has not been there for 80 years.. its only been there for 3, since the hotel re-opened and was not an original part of the building . It had been closed for over 60 years, just sitting there empty. The "Sam Houston Hotel" written on the outside of the building (and the rates) is not going anywhere. The building is a historic building and they all seem to be very proud of their past. I am considering having my wedding there and went on a tour of the hotel this past week. It seems like a very positive change. It's just a new name.

"17" is named after the 17 railroads that crossed right there at the point where San Jacinto and Prairie cross. And they are not changing the name of that nor do they have any intention of doing so.

They're not thinking of placing an Alden hotel on every corner in every city in every state. It's still going to be a subjective decision, not a mass-produced chain.

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funny, after perusing the alden website, there is no trace of the sam houston hotel (not the name - the history of it. like danax mentioned, the words "treasure" and "timeless" are used but that's about it). maybe i am missing something...

or maybe franks is set on people thinking this place is brand-frankin'-new!

frankly, franks seems like a you know what. and you know what you know whats eventually do to cool old places :rolleyes:

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Just an FYI.. the mural has not been there for 80 years.. its only been there for 3, since the hotel re-opened and was not an original part of the building .

Thanks for the info. I was assuming that it had been there all along. That changes everything.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

The Chronicle - Business section has a short article about the Sam Houston/ Alden Boutique Hotel today, says it has a new owner that the new owner will connect it more with it's history through "design changes".

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