Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Statler Hilton Hotel - The Case of the Mysterious Mr. Chiu


Hey All,  I decided to post this article I wrote about four years ago for D Magazine, because it just got reported that a new buyer has been found for the Hotel,  an incredibly ironic piece of Mid-Century Modern architecture in Downtown Dallas.  Hopefully, this guy will do what is necessary to bring this building back to life.  Interestingly,  this is the Dallas hotel where Richard Nixon was staying when Kennedy got assassinated nearly fifty years ago.  Bet you all didn't know that!!!  It's also where Tina Turner finally walked out of Ike and where Liberace got nicely relieved of a lot of expensive jewelry.  Read and enjoy,  friends and neighbors!

The Case of the Mysterious Mr. Chiu and the Statler Hotel

by Brendan McNally  Published 5.19.2010 From D Magazine JUN 2010

The two buildings stand together on Commerce Street, frozen by a spell of decrepitude, waiting for a hero to restore their youth and viability. The Statler Hilton and the old Dallas Public Library, once lauded as outstanding examples of midcentury modern architecture, are a wreck. 

Late last year, the City Council and the mayor’s office made encouraging noises about the Statler’s role in the revitalization of downtown. And almost on cue, a new suitor appeared. His name was Richard Chiu, president of Warwick International, a luxury hotel chain headquartered in Paris. Chiu apparently had—or has—ideas for the Statler, possibly combining a boutique hotel, condominiums, offices, and retail. City Hall prepared incentives for him to redevelop the property, including trading green cards for investment. Councilman Ron Natinsky evinced guarded optimism. “We’re expecting a concrete proposal first quarter of 2010,” he told me. Contacted through his company, Chiu promised a face-to-face interview when he came to Dallas sometime in the new year. 

But January turned to February and February into March, and there was no sign of Richard Chiu. City Hall turned tight-lipped. Then Chiu’s publicist revealed that he had already come and gone. I was invited to submit written questions. Having done that, there seemed nothing left to do but go downtown, stand in front of the Statler, and face the void.   READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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