Statler Hilton
Among the hotel’s numerous restraunts and bars, the old Stetson Lounge stands alone, both because visually it’s, well, nuts, and also because it’s almost an archeological dig site of interior design, where a careful eye can peel back each decade of remodelling.

The multicolored wall in the background is the sole remnant of the Empire Room, a supper club which originally occupied this part of the building. The Empire Room had a couple of unique features. One of its walls was a moveable partition, allowing the room to be expanded from a fairly intimate setting to the largest club in the southwest. In fact the Statler Hilton introduced these configurable partitions in ballrooms and other facilities, one of its many features that are ubiquitous in hotels today. The second item was an automatic dance floor, which could be elevated a few feet, or lowered below floor level, flooded and frozen to create a small skating rink for the various reviews on ice that apparently were popular back then.

The two-way fireplace dates possibly to that “gaslight era” business, or might be a later riff on the same general theme. At one point the area had views of the kitchen and open ovens, which are no longer there.