Renovation Extraordinaire: The New Award-Winning Statler Hilton, Dallas TX
By Jerry Merriman Founder & President, Merriman Anderson/Architects | May 12, 2019
The story of the Statler Hilton is quintessential to downtown Dallas' character. The Statler opened in 1956 as a 1001-room hotel, convention center, and gathering place for the "Who's Who" to lodge when visiting Downtown Dallas, Texas. Notable guests include Conrad Hilton, Coco Chanel, and Liberace, with musical performances by Tony Bennett, The Jackson 5 and Tina Turner.
The hotel was set to open as "The Statler" but was acquired by Hilton during construction and officially opened as "The Statler Hilton." New York Architect William Tabler employed advanced, cutting-edge design to complete the mid-century masterpiece including cantilevered slabs, a thin glass and aluminum curtainwall system made entirely in Texas, HVAC distribution expressed on the exterior, a 14,000 square-foot column-free ballroom, Westinghouse TVs in every guestroom, elevator music, and a heliport.
The original Statler Hilton guest rooms featured a button that allowed the house keeping staff to determine if a room was occupied or vacant. Guests were also able to leave laundry for cleaning through The Servidor, a hollow compartment in the room door.
The Statler Hilton, Dallas, Texas
The Statler, along with the adjacent Old Dallas Central Library, occupy an entire city block and are considered one of the best examples of mid-century architecture in the country. The hotel had its last occupancy in 2001 and was listed on the National Park Service "Top Ten Most Endangered Building" list in the country.
After many failed redevelopment attempts, The Stater was acquired by Centurion American Development in 2015 and was historically renovated and reimagined as a true mixed-use project. The owner and design team engaged Hilton to authorize "The Statler" name for the building. The Statler now features a 159-room Curio Collection hotel and 219 luxury rental apartments. The historic renovation also included the adjacent Old Dallas Central Library, which is now home to The Dallas Morning News.