To commemorate the 85th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Lancaster Hotel, which is located in the heart of Houston’s Theater District, the downtown hotel recently published postcards that give a glimpse of the Houston landmark’s earlier days.
Over the its many years of service The Lancaster has hoasted business guests from all over the world but few may know that the hotel was originally named the Auditorium Hotel and was built in 1926 just across the street from the City Auditorium, which is now the current site of Jones Hall.
In 1982, the hotel was remodeled and reopened as The Lancaster, Houston’s first boutique hotel. The hotel was one of the few luxury hotels available in downtown Houston. When it opened it boasted that each room had its own bath, ceiling fan, and circulating ice water. The combination of a new luxury hotel next to the City Auditorium raised the profile of the surrounding blocks.
It was originally designed by architect Joseph Finger and built by Houston investor and real estate developer, Michele DeGeorge. DeGeorge, an Italian immigrant, is pictured to the right of then Mayor of Houston, Oscar F. Holcombe. To his left are Dupree Fountain, the Hotel’s Manager (1926-31) and Joseph Finger, architect of the DeGeorge Hotel, 1913 and the Auditorium Hotel in 1926.
Austrian-born and prominent local architect Joseph Finger designed the Italian-Renaissance hotel’s upper floors to match the City Auditorium, which was located on Texas Ave. Oscar Holcombe was Houston’s longest-serving mayor and Dupree Fountain was the hotel’s first manager.
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