Statler Hilton
The Dallas Statler Hilton opened in early 1956, with luminaries from both coasts converging on Dallas for a four-day celebration that now seems bizarrely extravagant, a pagent more on the overstuffed scale of Reagan’s funeral than another hotel opening. A-list Hollywood entertainers, the Governor, a Who’s Who guest list and—among other far-fetched acts—the Hiltonettes chorus girls performing in mink chaps and headdresses representing the “ingredients” of Dallas.

The hotel itself was proclaimed “the last word in hostelries,” and in several ways it really was the first hotel in the country that might be considered modern by today’s standards. At any rate, it instantly took its place as the southwest’s premier hotspot.

Fifty years later it sits exhausted and forgotten in a desolate part of downtown. Not many people get to hear it, but the hotel has a good story to tell about those fast days and bright dreams of mid-century America.