PaperCity Magazine

September 2017 - Dallas

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T he Adolphus hotel was the vision of beer magnate Adolphus Busch, who was asked by the Dallas C h a m b e r o f Commerce in 1910 to fund the city's first posh hotel. In the early 20th century, Dallas boomed with oil-rich Texans who welcomed the chance to flaunt their wealth in a sophisticated way. These pillars of society and commerce already had a world-class place to shop — Neiman Marcus had opened three years prior in 1907, offering the latest fashions from New York and Paris — but a grand hotel was much in demand. For there was no place else to host a wedding or debutante ball, no lavish lobby for wealthy denizens to sip tea and be seen in their finest. For an original cost of $1.87 million, architects from the St. Louis firm Barnett, Haynes, and Barnett were commissioned to design the hotel. Erected on the original site of Dallas City Hall, it was modeled after a Beaux Arts German castle, with a bronze- and-slate mansard roof and a facade heavily decorated in carved flowers, animal figures, and classical motifs. In an apparent homage to its patron, a turret resembling a beer bottle crowns the roof. When it opened in 1912, the 22-story hotel took up a full city block and reigned for years as the tallest building in Texas. A bastion of civility at the fringes of the wild west, the Adolphus was an immediate sensation, attracting an international contingency of movie stars, heads of state, first ladies, and aristocrats. Over the decades, visitors included Rudolph Valentino, Warren G. Harding, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Philip. A series of expansions between 1916 and 1950 grew the hotel to 1,200 rooms, and at one point the Adolphus became the largest air-conditioned hotel in the world. (A 1980 renovation would later reduce the number of rooms to make them larger.) Otto Schubert, who was general manager from 1922 to 1946, helped launch the hotel to global prominence, with attractions such as the Century Room, which booked the Andrews Sisters, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Harry James, and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. The Adolphus was a hub of excitement — a retractable ice rink inside the Century Room hosted ice revues throughout the 1940s, with performances by Olympic speed skater REWRITTEN BY REBECCA SHERMAN. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. RENOVATION DESIGN SWOON, THE STUDIO. PHOTOGRAPHY LISA PETROLE. HISTORY XXXXXXXXXX WITH A CINEMATIC REDO, THE ADOLPHUS STANDS TALL AS A BASTION OF CIVILITY. In the upstairs Workspace lobby, antique French gilt chair, early portrait of Adolphus Busch, and the restored original elevators. 118

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