Post Rice Lofts

Infobox nrhp
name = Post Rice Lofts
(Rice Hotel)
nrhp_type =



caption = The top of the Post Rice Lofts, indicating its former name
location = 909 Texas Avenue
@ Main Street
Houston, Texas
United States
nearest_city =
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area =
built =
architect = Alfred C. Finn
architecture =
added = June 23, 1978
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
refnum = 78002947
mpsub =
governing_body =

The Post Rice Lofts, formerly the Rice Hotel, is a historic building at 909 Texas Avenue in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States. It was constructed in 1912 on the site of the former Capitol building of the Republic of Texas, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel was renovated and turned into apartments in 1998 after years of standing unused.

History

John and Augustus Chapman Allen retained ownership of the building after the Texas legislature moved from Houston to Austin, and they sold it to R.S. Blount for $12,000, in 1857, who opened the Capitol Hotel.cite web | title=The Historic Rice Hotel, Shuttered for 20 Years, Again a Houston Landmark | work = hotelonline.com | url = http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PressReleases1998_4th/Oct98_RiceHotel.html#Rice | accessdate = 2007-05-04] Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, committed suicide at the Hotel in 1858.cite web | title=Old Houston | work=Landmarks and Monuments, Historic Houston |url=http://www.houstonhistory.com/landmarks/history9a.htm | accessdate=2007-05-07]

The old Capitol building was razed in 1881 by Colonel A. Groesbeck, who subsequently erected a five-story hotel, which he also named the Capitol Hotel. William Marsh Rice, the founder of Rice University, purchased the building in 1883, added a five-story annex, and renamed it the Rice Hotel. Rice University then sold the building in 1911 to Jesse Jones, who demolished it and built the present 17-story structure on the site. The new Rice Hotel building opened on May 17, 1913. The first air-conditioned public room in Houston, the Rice Hotel Cafeteria, opened in 1922.

For many years, the Rice Hotel was one of Houston's grand hotels, and a downtown landmark.

The hotel featured fine dining in the Flag Room, a casual first-floor coffee shop, and the underground Rice Hotel Cafeteria, known for its signature dish, Rice Pudding. It had a variety of retail shops, including a lobby news stand, a hat store, and Bilton's Fine Jewelry.

Power brokers from Houston and all over Texas met in the private Old Capital Club, across the corridor from the Flag Room. Here, on the burgundy leather banquettes and chairs, many deals were made and companies were born. The member list was a veritable who's who of Houston, including judges, lawyers, businessmen and other power brokers.

The hotel was shuttered in the mid 1970s, and briefly reopened under the Rice Rittenhouse name. It saw its last hotel guests in 1977.

The historic Rice hotel now serves as an apartment building and is known as The Rice Lofts.

Restoration

After being vacant for years, the lobby and "Crystal Ballroom" in the historic Rice Hotel have been restored to their original 1913 design. The ballroom, with its 30-foot ceiling, restored mural, crystal chandeliers and outdoor terrace with views of downtown, has a colorful history of wedding parties, society balls and grand receptions.cite web | title=Crystal Ballroom at the Rice| author=John Siemssen | work=Editorial Review, CitySearch.com |url=http://houston.citysearch.com/profile/11419887/houston_tx/crystal_ballroom_at_the_rice.html | accessdate=2007-05-07]

The original "Rice Roof" dance pavilion, where the likes of Tommy Dorsey once swung, has been transformed into a resident social area. And, the indoor pool, hidden under concrete in recent years, has been completely restored. The Old Capital Club, once a favorite watering hole for Houston power brokers, is now a richly paneled lounge with an adjacent terrace overlooking the city.

Assigned schools

Houston Independent School District zoned the following schools to the condominium complex: [" [http://dept.houstonisd.org/ab/abcx_tool/search.asp School Zone Search Tool] ." "Houston Independent School District". ]
* K-5: [http://es.houstonisd.org/crockettes Crockett Elementary School]
* 6-8: E.O. Smith Education Center
* 9-12: Davis High School

References

External links

* [http://www.postproperties.com/PropertyDetail/PropertyOverview.aspx?PropertyId=Post%20Rice%20Lofts&PropertyType=PAH Rice Lofts]
* [http://www.aynart.com/ricehotel.html a frequently updated on-line gallery] of souvenirs, postcards and items from the former rice hotel
* [http://www.agoraphoria.com/lofiversion/index.php/t127.html The Rice Hotel, Houston] at Agoraphoria.com
* [http://overanalysis.org/postcards/houdn8.htm Hotels and Social Clubs] at Downtown Houston Through Postcards
* [http://pictopia.com/perl/gal?gallery_id=2615&process=gallery&provider_id=65&ptp_photo_id=houston%3A131098&sequencenum=&page= Photo of JFK & LBJ at the Rice Hotel] at "Houston Chronicle" Collectibles
* [http://www.postproperties.com/ApartmentHome/PropertyInfo.aspx?PropertyId=Post%20Rice%20Lofts&Type=PAH Rice Lofts website]


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