The Baker Hotel, Colorado City, Texas.
When one mentions the name Baker, in reference to a hotel, chances are, the mind’s eye will find an image of the iconic Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. The fourteen-story beast that sits, out of place, and out of time, nestled in the hills of Palo Pinto County. This association is warranted, The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells carries a wealth of history and is all deserving of the traveler’s fascination.
Unbeknown to some is that more than one Baker Hotel existed. Theodore Baker designed and built many hotels branding a few with his name.
Colorado City, Texas, (aka Mother City of West Texas) located in the Big Sky Country lays claim to a Baker Hotel.
According to a Texas Scapes website article, early in the town’s history, it was, “the largest community between Fort Worth and El Paso, Colorado City had more millionaires than any other Texas town”. The article further declares that the town had more saloons than any town in the west.
The following is taken from the back of a Baker Hotel postcard:
“Located just one block off U. S. 80 in downtown Colorado City, Texas, the Baker Hotel offers the traveler the finest in hotel services – free parking, year ’round air-conditioning, superb accommodations, television, Heated Swimming Pool, and good food in the Baker’s beautiful “Colorado Room.”
Not sure why the Heated Swimming Pool is capitalized?
The Baker of Colorado City still stands. A gutted shell more akin with bombed-out cities than the fabulous 1920s.
While little life stirs within the walls of the Baker, the adjoining movie theater was renovated in 2007.
The Palace Theater was renamed 3M Palace Theater after the 2007 renovation. While it is reported the celluloid is still projected on the screen, a recent trip found the exterior void of life.
Colorado City, once a city of wealth and promise, finds itself attempting to exist in a fast pace world void of mainstreets. Mainstreets at one time in the 20th century were the epicenter of commerce and entertainment. The place where life happened in a town. Today only remnants of these ideas weather and crumble with each passing year.
The still life of a town like Colorado City allows the traveler a moment to reset and ponder the frailty of all that is taken for granted.