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Sheraton-Lincoln


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Rooftop pool

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This has always been one of my favorite buildings downtown. When it opened in 1962 it was the first downtown hotel since 1929, so it was a big enough deal that the Chronicle ran a special supplement about it. Famous guests included Jack Ruby and the Beatles during their only visit to Houston in 1965.

Beatles press conference from the Sheraton-Lincoln:

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Fans spying:

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The hotel closed in 1986 but the office section of the building remained open for a while after that. The Hyatt Regency bought the building for expansion in 1998 and planned to connect it to the Hyatt with a skybridge. They got as far as gutting the Sheraton interior to remove asbestos, but the expansion fell through because of the weak economy. It has been a vacant shell ever since.

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It's at 717 Polk. It looks pretty much the same now, except the ground floor windows are boarded up, the interior is nothing but the steel frame and concrete slab floors, and some of the upper floor windows are broken. Also the sidewalk in front is a popular hangout for the homeless.

Someone's business card I found in there once.

SLbusinesscard.jpg

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awesome! the "cheshire cheese old english beefe house" and "transistorized console" are my favorites :D

i'll dig up the holiday inn brochure and post it soon...

I'll bet for years the waiters at the Cheshire Cheese Old English Beefe House have been dreading the day when a photograph of them in those uniforms would show up on the internet. :lol:

Here's a better picture of the Sheraton that shows what was around it back then. Memorial Hospital in the background.

z27.jpg

There's a brochure for the Rice Hotel I'll scan later.

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i went by there last night, and it was interesting - homeless sleeping on two sides, valet for the hyatt and contract parking in the garage, HPD across one way and the hyatt across the other...

have there been any recent plans for the building? i saw the inside of the lobby from the "drive-in motor entrance" and the lobby looked trashed...

Edited by sevfiv
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Back when I was in high school back in the 1970s, I remember reading in the Guiness Book of World Records what was then the most expensive hotel room. A suite in the AstroWorld Hotel which rented for $2500 a night. I don't know if the AstroWorld Hotel is still there anymore.

But, as all of you know, today there are many hotels which far exceed $2500 a night. On TV there was a show about that televangelist named Benny Hinn. It showed hotels that he stayed at which cost $10,000 a night. But of course, God told him to stay there.

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i went by there last night, and it was interesting - homeless sleeping on two sides, valet for the hyatt and contract parking in the garage, HPD across one way and the hyatt across the other...

have there been any recent plans for the building? i saw the inside of the lobby from the "drive-in motor entrance" and the lobby looked trashed...

A while back there was a proposal to convert it into a world trade center like the one that used to be on Texas, but nothing came of it. Since the Hyatt went into foreclosure the lender owns the building now, and they are probably looking for some opportunity to sell it.

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you can't be referring to this, can you? 2500? sheesh

astro.jpg

Yes, that's it. All I remember is that's what the Guiness Book of World Records said. I read that when I was a junior in high school, which was back in 1974-75. If you could locate an edition of that book from one of those years, then you'd be able to verify what I remember.

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I'll bet for years the waiters at the Cheshire Cheese Old English Beefe House have been dreading the day when a photograph of them in those uniforms would show up on the internet. :lol:

Here's a better picture of the Sheraton that shows what was around it back then. Memorial Hospital in the background.

z27.jpg

There's a brochure for the Rice Hotel I'll scan later.

Sheraton the way it looks like today

i3xlrc.jpg

1001 main this building looks like the above two buildings

i3xoa8.jpg

Sheraton building empty?

Edited by eelimon
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Yes, that's it. All I remember is that's what the Guiness Book of World Records said. I read that when I was a junior in high school, which was back in 1974-75. If you could locate an edition of that book from one of those years, then you'd be able to verify what I remember.

I checked my "Library" and found a 1977 copy of Guiness... Good memory, Ashi!

AstroworldHotelRoom.jpg

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I checked my "Library" and found a 1977 copy of Guiness... Good memory, Ashi!

AstroworldHotelRoom.jpg

Thank you for researching and verifying what I was almost certain that I remembered correctly. Now I know that my mind isn't starting to "slip" at age 47. Like I said, I was in the 11th Grade when I first read that. You've restored my confidence.

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I checked my "Library" and found a 1977 copy of Guiness... Good memory, Ashi!

AstroworldHotelRoom.jpg

I think the "good memory" award goes to you Tbird, how could anyone remember that they actually have a copy of the 1977 version of The Guiness book in their library, is beyond me ! :D

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Sheraton4.jpg

Sheraton3.jpg

Sheraton1.jpg

Rooftop pool

Sheraton2.jpg

This has always been one of my favorite buildings downtown. When it opened in 1962 it was the first downtown hotel since 1929, so it was a big enough deal that the Chronicle ran a special supplement about it. Famous guests included Jack Ruby and the Beatles during their only visit to Houston in 1965.

Beatles press conference from the Sheraton-Lincoln:

19650819_10.jpg

Fans spying:

volc.jpg

The hotel closed in 1986 but the office section of the building remained open for a while after that. The Hyatt Regency bought the building for expansion in 1998 and planned to connect it to the Hyatt with a skybridge. They got as far as gutting the Sheraton interior to remove asbestos, but the expansion fell through because of the weak economy. It has been a vacant shell ever since.

I was just thinking: How many floors did this building have? That's a big hotel. Were all of them guest rooms, or were some of them rented office space?

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I was just thinking: How many floors did this building have? That's a big hotel. Were all of them guest rooms, or were some of them rented office space?

My oldest sister had her wedding reception there. I think I remember snooping around with my cousin and seeing some office space. I remember wondering what office space was doing in a hotel.

In any event, that has always been one of my favorite buildings downtown. It would make fantastic condos/apartments. It has always just reeked of chic, IMUO.

B)

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The top 15 floors were hotel rooms, and the horizontal slab on the bottom had the restaurants, meeting rooms, and hotel service areas. The 8 floors on the bottom of the tower section were office space. The offices and the hotel sections were served by different elevator banks. You can tell which floors were offices or hotel because the hotel rooms on top have a shorter ceiling height.

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The top 15 floors were hotel rooms, and the horizontal slab on the bottom had the restaurants, meeting rooms, and hotel service areas. The 8 floors on the bottom of the tower section were office space. The offices and the hotel sections were served by different elevator banks. You can tell which floors were offices or hotel because the hotel rooms on top have a shorter ceiling height.

they should renovate this place for lofts or condos.

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The photo is not online, but today's Chronicle has a new photograph taken in the Celestial Suite. The hotel is being renovated and renamed the Houston Grand Plaza Hotel

I thought Judge Hofheinz might have had something to do with that hotel suite. He had similar accommodations for himself in the Astrodome.

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My oldest sister had her wedding reception there. I think I remember snooping around with my cousin and seeing some office space. I remember wondering what office space was doing in a hotel.

In any event, that has always been one of my favorite buildings downtown. It would make fantastic condos/apartments. It has always just reeked of chic, IMUO.

B)

There once was a show on TV called "Fantasy Island". A midget named Herve Villechaize played the part of "Tattoo". Naturally, he was a champion for short and small people. He bought a hotel and had all of its rooms remodeled to accomodate midgets (the ceilings were lowered, etc.).

When he died in 1993, his will stipulated that midgets would be allowed to live in those converted hotel rooms free of charge. His will also directed that the name of the building would be: "Stay Free Mini-Pads".

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There once was a show on TV called "Fantasy Island". A midget named Herve Villechaize played the part of "Tattoo". Naturally, he was a champion for short and small people. He bought a hotel and had all of its rooms remodeled to accomodate midgets (the ceilings were lowered, etc.).

When he died in 1993, his will stipulated that midgets would be allowed to live in those converted hotel rooms free of charge. His will also directed that the name of the building would be: "Stay Free Mini-Pads".

:o:lol:

B)

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i didn't realize the past attempts (excerpts from the chronicle):

june 1991:

"Drago Daic Interests has acquired the old Sheraton Lincoln hotel in downtown Houston and plans to renovate and reopen the 506-room hostelry"

december 1993:

"A California investment group, in partnership with the ITT Sheraton Corp., proposes a $30 million plan to purchase and reopen downtown Houston's old Sheraton-Lincoln Hotel, which has been closed since 1986.

As planned, the property could be reported as an all-suites hotel by 1995, the group says."

july 1994:

"The old Sheraton-Lincoln Hotel is about to gain new life as a residential complex.

"It's going to be 350 luxury apartments," says Mike Wilson of Mike Wilson Marketing, which handled the recent sale of the hotel property."

january 1998:

"Rushlake has contracted to buy the Sheraton Lincoln from 711 Partnership, a Los Angeles-based investment group, Shaikh said. By redeveloping the Sheraton Lincoln and linking it to the Hyatt, Rushlake could add more than 500 rooms to the Hyatt, which already is the biggest hotel in Houston with 964 rooms."

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Wow, I didn't realize there had been that many failed redevelopment attempts. It is a difficult property to work with because it has two different floor heights and extremely narrow floor widths. At one point I happened to see the redevelopment floor plans and exterior renderings for the annex that the Hyatt was planning. It would have been nice. The main change to the exterior would have been a vertical metal "spine" on the front facade.

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Wow, I didn't realize there had been that many failed redevelopment attempts. It is a difficult property to work with because it has two different floor heights and extremely narrow floor widths. At one point I happened to see the redevelopment floor plans and exterior renderings for the annex that the Hyatt was planning. It would have been nice. The main change to the exterior would have been a vertical metal "spine" on the front facade.

A few months ago I read in the Chronicle that a company in Dallas was buying the Warwick Hotel in Houston. About that time on KTRH radio, Chris Baker wanted to know the cost of a room in the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Houston, so his producer called them and asked. They said $200 for a basic room for one night. Does anyone have a photo of it to post?

For those of you out there who have ever stayed overnight at what fulfills the definition of a "hotel," I'm curious as to how much you paid, did you get your money's worth, and would you ever do it again? One time back in 1982 in Nashville, Tennessee, I stayed at a ten-story Holiday Inn. I assume that it qualified as a "hotel" because it had many floors. For only me, it cost $48. But remember, that was in 1982 dollars. I don't know what the ratio would be between then and now.

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
My oldest sister had her wedding reception there. I think I remember snooping around with my cousin and seeing some office space. I remember wondering what office space was doing in a hotel.

In any event, that has always been one of my favorite buildings downtown. It would make fantastic condos/apartments. It has always just reeked of chic, IMUO.

B)

Did your sister's marriage last or did it end in divorce? I've always thought it to be a shame to see a lot of money spent on a wedding and reception and the couple later gets divorced.

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Did your sister's marriage last or did it end in divorce? I've always thought it to be a shame to see a lot of money spent on a wedding and reception and the couple later gets divorced.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E and not a minute too soon. He only had to beat her once and she was outta there.

No reflection on the Sheraton, however.

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D-I-V-O-R-C-E and not a minute too soon. He only had to beat her once and she was outta there.

No reflection on the Sheraton, however.

No, why blame the place where the reception was held? When did that happen? The more recent photos show the building without the letters on the top. That indicates that the hotel closed down.

Wait! Are you saying that he beat her in the Sheraton? Also, did that reception cost your parents some big bucks?

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Oh for God's sake.. <_<:wacko:

Back in 1996, my ex-Significant Other's mother was arrested for credit card abuse in a Sheraton near the Astrodome. She spent three months in the Harris County Jail. She ran up an $1800 bill in the hotel. Those three months in the HCJ "paid it off."

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No, why blame the place where the reception was held? When did that happen? The more recent photos show the building without the letters on the top. That indicates that the hotel closed down.

Wait! Are you saying that he beat her in the Sheraton? Also, did that reception cost your parents some big bucks?

Ash,

He beat her about a year after the wedding. In their apartment. The hotel had NOTHING to do with it. He was a wife-beater. And yes, I'm sure my parents shelled out a boat-load to give their 1st daughter a nice reception just as I'm sure they did on their 2nd and 3rd daughters. After all that, I'm sure they were thankful I was a boy. :lol:

B)

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Ash,

He beat her about a year after the wedding. In their apartment. The hotel had NOTHING to do with it. He was a wife-beater. And yes, I'm sure my parents shelled out a boat-load to give their 1st daughter a nice reception just as I'm sure they did on their 2nd and 3rd daughters. After all that, I'm sure they were thankful I was a boy. :lol:

B)

Yes, girls do cost parents more money than boys do. Did your other two sisters have their wedding receptions at the Sheraton?

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That Astroworld Hotel suite being the most expensive in the world was a well known fact when I was a kid and visited Houston with my parents back in the 70s. I remember hearing all about that.

It's a little misleading, though. It wasn't really designed to be rented out on a per-night basis. It's the ENTIRE TOP FLOOR of that building. It was indeed, like another home for Judge Roy. He'd keep it ready for Saudi sheiks and visiting dignitaries in town for extended business.

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No, it was closed by then.

Maybe the Sheraton-Lincoln's management heard about what happened to your oldest sister and they thought that the building might have had some kind of a curse. So rather than risk having one of your other sisters or other women experience what your older sister did, a decision was made to close down the Sheraton-Lincoln so that no more wedding receptions could be held there.

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Maybe the Sheraton-Lincoln's management heard about what happened to your oldest sister and they thought that the building might have had some kind of a curse. So rather than risk having one of your other sisters or other women experience what your older sister did, a decision was made to close down the Sheraton-Lincoln so that no more wedding receptions could be held there.

Yes. that is EXACTLY what happened. Once the news was out world-wide, the Sheraton people paniced thinking my sister's ex-husband beat her 2 years later because of their reception at the hotel. It was amazing that my sister had the power to shutter an entire Sheraton property but there you have it. It gave her a whole new life.

Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

:lol:

BTW, my sister will be appearing live in the RamaRoom all week...try the fried twinkies.

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Yes. that is EXACTLY what happened. Once the news was out world-wide, the Sheraton people paniced thinking my sister's ex-husband beat her 2 years later because of their reception at the hotel. It was amazing that my sister had the power to shutter an entire Sheraton property but there you have it. It gave her a whole new life.

Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

:lol:

BTW, my sister will be appearing live in the RamaRoom all week...try the fried twinkies.

Yes, my dad something similar, but not on as big of a scale that your sister did. When we lived in Houston, we went to the Santa Rosa Theatre. During the movie, my dad passed some silent intestinal gas. He said that he remembers hearing the teenagers coughing and shuffling their feet. Then last year FoxMulder took a photo of that closed-down theatre and e-mailed it to me. Later I e-mailed it to Subdude and he posted it under that topic.

I printed that photo and showed it to my dad. He said that what he did was what caused the Santa Rosa to close down. As he pointed to the photo, he said: "See? A picture is worth a thousand words." Your sister had a bigger impact because the Sheraton-Lincoln Hotel was much larger than the Santa Rosa Theatre. But I don't know if the Santa Rosa's closing gave my dad a whole new life.

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  • 7 months later...

I believe so.

There was considerable work done to the area I think because the front of the hotel was fenced off for several months until just recently. So I don't know what was done.

I have been curious as hell about it, though.

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