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Hotel America At 1700 Smith St.


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As I recall, when this hotel was built, it was touted as being the tallest Holiday Inn on earth.  Also, it actually didn't look as bad at the time, although the huge parking podium was never terribly attractive.  OTOH, it did look cheaply done, but it was also brand-spanking-new at the time, which helped, I guess.


One thing I've never heard discussed is why it went out of business.  My guess is that it was too big and cheaply done to weather the economic downturn of the 80s.   Actually, I don't recall what year it failed, although I imagine it was already in decline when it went "Days Inn".  


On a side note, there was another slightly older, but more upscale property nearby that also failed:  the original Hotel America (in Cullen Center).  It later became The Whitehall and afterwards was vacant for years before becoming the Crown Plaza.  


If I could vote on it, I would vote to implode the former tallest HI on earth.  If some investors wanted to pump sufficient money to try making it an attractive and useful asset to DT Houston, that would be great.  However, I would not be willing to gamble on it as one of them.



Edited by ArchFan
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