PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) - The Hilton Hotel sits vacant and decaying in downtown Plainview. The building has wood panels covering the windows on the ground floor, the paint is chipped, copper wire stripped, the inside is singed by fire, and, on the upper floors, windows have been broken out.
The building wasn’t always this way. It used to be the focal point of downtown Plainview and now one group is looking to bring that old glory back.
“Right now we are working on phase one which is the entrance and we have painted the columns, we are painting the awning that goes around the portico and the fence railing that is up above it and we are putting planters with plants,” said Project Manager for the Hilton Restoration Project, Ranada Jack. “The windows are going to be like you’re looking into the lobby and the artist has a lot of details about what the building looked like, she’s done a lot of research. Everything is going to be like it was in 1929.”
Currently, an artist is working to finish renderings of what the lobby area would’ve looked like when the hotel first opened. That work is expected to be finished today.
The building fell into its current state in the early 80s. Since that time, a lot of vandalism that has taken place, but, for Ranada, restoring the building is a labor of love because, like many other people in Plainview, the Hilton hotel hides a beautiful history of which she is a part.
“Since we’ve been doing this the stories that I have heard from people it just brings back all of the memories of eating there, you know people didn’t eat out very much back then and so when they got to go someplace like this to eat it was really a neat event,” Ranada said.
One of the current residents of Plainview who was able to enjoy the hotel was Ramona Roberts.
“It was the social spot in Plainview. All of our high school dances were held there, a lot of luncheons for brides and then the Sunday brunch,” Roberts said. “The hotel had crystal chandeliers, crystal sconces on the walls, French doors all the way around. It had a drug store, it had a barber shop, a dry cleaners and a dining room.”
As Ramona watches the construction progress she is thankful for the hard work of the volunteers and groups trying to restore the Hotel. She hopes that a new generation of people in Plainview will be able to create new memories in the beautiful building for years to come.
“We’re thankful, we think it’s wonderful, I just wish we were young enough that we could get out there and help them,” said Roberts. Ranada says that, so far, they have financing to fix the lobby area, update the outside and secure the hotel, but they are still looking for financial help to do complete restorations.
“The first floor we’d like to have that done by the fall after that we’ve got to regroup and see where we’re at see where we’re at with money and go from there,” Ranada said.