on Wednesday, January, 05 2011 @ 08:54:54 pm (656 words)
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Located at 302 South Houston Street (on the corner of Houston and Jackson) in Dallas, Texas, the Hotel Lawrence was initially opened in October 1925 as the Scott Hotel by a hotelier named George C. Scott (who also was the owner of hotels in Houston and Waco). With 160 rooms originally, the ten-story edifice chiefly served the lodging needs of train passengers who stopped across the street at Union Station. The historic Lawrence is adjacent to the West End District, across Houston street from Union Station, across Jackson Street from the George L. Allen Sr. Courts Building, and three blocks from the Dallas School Book Depository and Kennedy Sixth Floor Museum. Besides accommodations for travelers, the establishment for decades has also been claimed to be the haunt of others disinclined to move on.
The name and ownership of this downtown hostelry has changed many times over the years. It became the Hotel Lawrence in the late 1930's. By the mid-1970's the building had deteriorated to a point that the city considered its potential as a minimum-security jail; however, a resurgence of the economy for the vicinity brought new ownership and renovations. The Kerr Companies of Minneapolis, Minnesota, purchased the hotel and reopened it in February 1981 as the Bradford. The Edward J. Safdie Group next purchased the hotel and completed further renovations in time for the 1984 Republican National Convention. Dallas Hotel Associates bought the establishment and changed the name to the Paramount. In October 2000, Big D Hotel Associates of Annapolis, Maryland, purchased the hotel, initiated a $4 million makeover, and on September 1, 2001, re-dubbed the concern the Hotel Lawrence.
Containing 118 guest rooms and suits, the Lawrence is touted as a European-style boutique hotel. While room furnishings are contemporary there is an art deco feel to the overall decor of the hotel.
At least three ghosts (a woman, a murder victim, and a gambler) are believed to haunt the Hotel Lawrence. The large number of odd occurrences reported through the years, however, would seem to indicate the presence of several. Four deaths due to accident or violence are said to have occurred on the premises, and some or all of these unfortunate individuals may be the spirits whose forms or actions have been witnessed. The common denominator in all of these deaths has been the tenth floor.
A man alleged to have been a congressman is said to have resided on the tenth floor before his death by suicide at the hotel. Stories also tell of a man named Jack "Smiley" Jackson who was murdered in room number 1009 (some renditions of the tale say 807). It is said that unless you ask politely or address him by name (for example,"Move over, Smiley!") he will not allow you to enter the room. A later murder happened in the same room, when the throat of a man named Brookshire was slit. In the 1940's a woman either jumped or fell from a window on the tenth floor.
Laundry carts have been said to move "by themselves" in the hotel basement, where also doors seem to open and close unaided by mortal hands. Footsteps as though made by high-heel shoes are reportedly heard in the hotel lobby late at night. It is said that the staff often receives calls from rooms in which no guests are staying, and the cleaning staff has claimed that their cleaning materials go missing. During the 1920's and '30's a gambling casino was housed within the hotel on the second floor. There the apparition of a dapper gentleman in clothing of that era is sometimes seen walking in the hallways. Cold spots, disembodied voices, and feelings of being watched have been frequently experienced by guests and staff. In rooms and hallways of the tenth floor patrons have seen shadows and heard crying.
Though situated ideally to accommodate convention-goers and historians, the Hotel Lawrence is an interesting tourist destination in itself. Would you consider a room on the tenth floor?