Hotel Grim

34
City/Town: Texarkana
Location Class: Hotel/Motel
Year Built: 1924
Year Abandoned: 1970's
Status: For SaleAbandonedEndangered
Photographer: Caitlen TaylorCody Taylor

The well known Hotel Grim was once the “Crown Jewel” of Texarkana in it’s heyday. Built in 1924-25 and closed down in 1990, the hotel was filled with history and memories through the duration of its years in operation.

Hotel Grim completed construction in July of 1925 and opened on Wednesday, July 15, 1924. Designed by architects George Mann and Eugene Stern and named after William Rhodes Grim a prominent businessman in Texarkana. The hotel stands eight stories tall with 250 rooms at a cost of $600,000 to construct. The lobby remains a breathtaking sight even today and featured stone walls and marble flooring. The first floor housed the hotel’s café, the main dining room, as well as the famous Palm Court. The mezzanine held a beauty parlor, a barber shop, a coffee shop, a private dining room, and a drug store. Hotel Grim also had a beautiful roof top garden that could quickly converted to a large ballroom and accommodate many guests. Hotel Grim was the hot spot of Texarkana in the 1930’s hosting many parties for the rich, big name jazz bands, and was well known for having illegal card games for high rollers.Lobby-1929 In 1934 radio station KCMC even established a studio inside the hotel.

In 1934 Bonnie and Clyde along with Henry Methvin were rumored to have made an appearance at Hotel Grim. An employee at the hotel recognized Bonnie from a magazine photo and stated that she came in to the hotel’s café and was sitting at the counter eating a sandwich while Clyde and Henry remained in the car. After a while Clyde became anxious and sent Henry in to retrieve her. Henry entered the café and pretended to be reading a magazine, when Henry and Bonnie made eye contact she then knew it was time to leave.

DOORS TO HOTEL GRIM ARE LOCKED. THIS LOCATION IS PATROLLED AND WATCHED BY THE COMMUNITY. fLOORS ARE FALLING IN AND MOLD IS GROWING EVERYWHERE. DO NOT GO TO THIS DANGEROUS LOCATION.

34 Comments

  1. Joey lawrence on

    I wish that we would stop talking about refurbishing the Grim Hotel and get started doing it. We drove down town the other evening and there are cars all around the condominiums that have been made in several of the old buildings. I was totally surprised. In sociology we learn that everything changes but change itself. Towns and cities move outward and eventually inward. We need to understand that in order to achieve progress in the down town area

  2. Joey lawrence on

    I wish that we would stop talking about refurbishing the Grim Hotel and get started doing it. We drove down town the other evening and there are cars all around the condominiums that have been made in several of the old buildings. I was totally surprised. In sociology we learn that everything changes but change itself. Towns and cities move outward and eventually inward. We need to understand that in order to achieve progress in the down town area, we must move forward. I have observed in my lifetime that when goals are set, plans are made, and progress begins…excitement builds. Interest builds and people want to be a part of new beginnings. I wonder if there is more concern on the negative side to all of this, rather than the positive beginning of greater things to come. We need to focus on marketing our down town area in terms that offer benefits. Location, less money spent on nice living spaces. The "in thing" for the "in people". Present the upcoming plans for more renovation and in some cases building of other facilities needed to fulfill the needs of living and business opportunities. Market, Market, Market the upcoming trend in up-scale, budget efficient living and business spaces in order to bring a part of old beauty brought to life again. A story that offers interest to a new and growing population of people.

  3. I am elated to hear that the Hotel Grim has received the funds necessary to be refurbished (see prior post page 1 from another source). I only hope that the lobby and mezzanine are kept intact as the link states that the first floor will have a good many apartments.

    I must offer criticism as to your photographs, however. I couldn't help but notice a certain "artistic" placement of objects that your photographer took the liberty to move about. That does little to no justice as to what the Hotel Grim currently looks like if she arranges items to suit what she believes "looks better" or whatever was in her head. Also, why in the world are there not more pics of the lobby and mezzanine areas? The most elegant, well-crafted aspects of this building's architecture are given short shrift so as to focus on what is impermanent and ignores that which will (hopefully) remain, in my opinion. Perhaps a bit more "focus" on that which is lasting would enhance her knowledge of that which is worthwhile.

    Thank you for ALL the photos, though. I took a trip back to 1979-80 when I lived there as a 20 year old. It was, and will be again, a striking example of the grandeur that can be achieved without the gaudiness, pretense and cheapness of today's hotels. I am glad serendipity came my way today so that I could find that the Hotel Grim shall rise once more! Again, thank you.

  4. Hotel Grim Lofts Project gets loan guarantee assistance

    The City of Texarkana, Texas recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Section 108 loan guarantee assistance in the amount of $1,429,000 for the Hotel Grim Lofts Project.

    The goal is to redevelop the hotel with 98 housing units and commercial space on the first level. The financing plan is to use 108 funds from HUD along with federal and state historic credits, an EPA cleanup loan, conventional debt, and any other eligible sources. The proposal is for market apartments with apartments set aside of approximately 20 units for affordable family.
    It is estimated that if the project continues progressing that closing will take place in June with construction set to begin by early Fall.
    http://txktoday.com/news/hotel-grim-lofts-project

  5. Hotel Grim completed construction in July of 1925 and opened on Wednesday, July 15, 1924? Shouldn't that be the other way around? I love the Hotel Grim. I remember going next door to the book store in 1986. It was like looking into another time period with men sitting in the lobby reading newspapers and smoking cigars. I have photos of probably every floor and the roof.

    • Shouldn't that be that you went from the book store next door to the Hotel Grim?? JK Yes, the old men sitting around the lobby in oversized chairs of naugahyde (very comfortable, btw!) with newspapers and cigars was an integral part of the Grim's lobby. As were the standing ashtrays and spittoons. I remember it well.

  6. A typical Romanian hotel at the edge of town, decorated in shades of red, yellow and orange. The staff don't really speak English but they managed to accommodate us in an adequate room and serve us dinner and breakfast. In fact the cheese and ham omelets at breakfast were particularly fine. If you just want a bed for the night…

  7. I don't know where some of you are getting your information. The owner of the Grim is working to restore it throught the state.

    • Texarkana Rathole on

      they have been saying that for over 14 years and nothing is happening. Texarkana could care less about the history of its city. Look at the museum system…its soon to fail and no one in either city cares. Sad sad town.

  8. Here is an interesting article about the old Emerson Electric Co. ceiling fans that were in the Hotel Grim. http://www.vintagefans.com/newsletter/issue3/hote

    I have visited the Grim a couple times from the outside. I collect vintage electric fans and lighting, and hope to purchase the remaining antique fans. Unfortunately, scrappers may have broken in and stolen quite a few. It's a shame places like this have to rot and be vandalized, but I know how expensive it would be to fix them up and abate the lead and asbestos.

  9. Interesting to finally see the place that my mom always talked about. She said when she was a kid, her aunt and uncle would get into fights and her uncle would go to the Grim and have a stay with an "escort." Ha! I heard rumor once that someone wanted to purchase it and turn it into apartments much like Buhrman Pharr lofts. It would be very neat( I think at least) if something like that were to happen. Many building in downtown dallas have been converted to flats, so It's not entirely an impossible idea.

  10. I love the Grim Hotel, but I hear the person that owns that building wants to sell it for a million, love the building but not a million dollars worth. As far as downtown being viable. That's not necessarily true. Millenials, are the largest group of people in America now, and the second largest, if not the largest population group in Texarkana, and millenials are choosing to live closer to city centers because its cheaper. Texarkana can develop only so far out before it becomes a diminished return. Businesses going so far out that the cost of time and transportation isn't worth it. Richmond Rd for example, If Texarkana continues to grow (with 2 new interstates) you could soon have a town of 100k, just in the city itself, roads in northwest Texarkana can't handle that much traffic. The thing downtown needs to overcome to make it viable again is to move the Bowie County jail away from the downtown area.

  11. Several years ago, my company contracted for and repaired the roof in several places. The company with the lease at that time envisioned restoring the hotel and using it for homes for homeless and aged tenants, including shops and a resturaunt. All that fell through when the cost was added up. Later, David Potter did a thorough evaluation of restoring the property to be used as offices for the Tobacco Lawsuit Lawyers, that too was deemed too expensive. David restored the old State First National bank building at Broad and Stateline instead.
    At the time I estimated the total roof replacement, the cost of the roofing with necessary accessories alone was $240,000. The asbestos abatement for this building is the biggest single factor against restoration. All the inside plaster wall and ceiling finishes are asbestos containing materials.

  12. George Bohmfalk on

    I love old buildings and lament their loss. But I also try to accept the reality of changing times. If someone chose to restore the Grim, or McCartney, or Union Station, or (enter your favorite abandoned downtown building), what would be done with it? Many people have tried, many ideas have been pitched, but the economics simply aren't there. Look at the nearby glorious Ace of Clubs house, by comparison a small property, and now its future is uncertain. Between the demise of rail traffic and the move of nearly all commerce out to the freeway, the fate of these charming but condemned old buildings is sealed. The dilemma is that no one wants to pay to scrape them, either. Take pride in and support the Perot and RAC.

  13. When I was a teenager in 1973, we walked to Bryce's every Friday for lunch and looked at the beautiful Grim. Inside, hung the chandeliers and I often wondered why they let it go.

    • We are working to possibly register this historic building. We are talking with the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas about possibly registering this place among other featured on this site.

    • I just pray all the homeless cats were humanely rescued from the Grimm.i wish they"the cats of Texarkana", had a safe place to live where predators"people that hate cats"are kept away!

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