The Abandoned Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas (Image: fatwax4 – Facebook; the abandoned Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas)

The imposing Baker Hotel of Mineral Wells, Texas, ushered in a new era where the skyscraper became a common feature across the United States. Noted for being the first skyscraper to be built outside of a major metropolitan area, the opulent Baker Hotel opened in 1929 – all 14 floors of it.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 2 (Image: fatwax4)

At the time, it was an incredibly ambitious project. Costing more than $1.2 million to build (that’s more than $16 million with inflation) the botel was designed to capitalize on the healing waters that gave the town its name. The now-abandoned Baker Hotel incorporated early examples of modern amenities, like air conditioning, ice water on demand, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and automatic lights.

Related: 10 Abandoned Hotels from Eastern Europe to Asia, Africa & Oceania

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 4 (Image: fatwax4)

The hotel opened only a few weeks after the stock market crashed, plunging America into the depths of the Great Depression. It thrived, though, surviving on wealthy clientele and visits from the most famous actors, musicians and other celebrities of the day. People like Judy Garland, Clark Gable and Glenn Miller stayed there, and throughout the 1930s the Baker Hotel became known as a health spa.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 3 (Image: fatwax4)

But the good times couldn’t – and didn’t – last forever. The 1940s brought the beginning of the end for the grand hotel and its celebrity spa. With advances in modern medicine, including the likes of penicillin, less and less people were putting their faith in the healing properties of the springs around which the city of Mineral Wells had grown.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 6 (Image: fatwax4)

During the war years, however, the Baker Hotel’s decline was temporarily halted when the opening of a nearby military base gave business a boost. But by the end of the war, those people who had lived there out of necessity had moved on.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 5 (Image: fatwax4)

The neglected hotel limped on in Mineral Wells until 1972, when its doors were finally closed. In 2010, efforts to reopen – or at least restore – the abandoned Baker Hotel to something of its former glory began in earnest. Even in abandonment, the ghostly shell of this landmark building has never quite lost its elegant reputation. Nor are locals in any doubt as to its role as an important reminder of the city’s past. Thankfully, it may once again play a role in its future.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 7 (Image: fatwax4)

Perhaps not surprisingly – considering its hulking, shuttered form and the seemingly-endless corridors and silent halls within – the abandoned Baker Hotel is considered by some to be an epicentre of paranormal activity.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 8 (Image: fatwax4)

Many of those who once worked there claim the hauntings started before the hotel was even abandoned – with, most notably, the woman on the 7th floor. Staff reported how someone appeared to be staying in a suite in the southeast corner of the hotel, smelling perfume and finding glasses marked with red lipstick, when nobody was around.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 9 (Image: fatwax4)

Supposedly, it was the spirit of the hotel manager’s mistress, who had killed herself by jumping from the roof of the building. Some believe that her ghost continues to walk the empty floors of the Baker Hotel to this day, claiming to have heard the sound of high heels echoing throughout the abandoned building’s dark, empty halls.

inside the abandoned baker hotel in mineral wells, texas 10 (Image: fatwax4)

Check out more of the photographer’s work on Facebook, at Melted Wax Imagery.

Related: 8 Creepy Abandoned Hospitals, Hotels & Schools

 
 


 
 
 

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