The Dallas Morning News
The first guests won't check into downtown Dallas' Statler Hotel until late summer or early fall.
But a sneak peek inside the downtown landmark shows the grand hotel is getting closer to an opening. Construction has been underway for almost two years on the 19-story Commerce Street hotel, which sat vacant for more than a decade.
The first apartment tenants have already moved into rental units on the upper floors of the high-rise. Work crews are busy finishing the lobby, public areas and rooms of the hotel that will occupy the lower floors.
"The hotel rooms are on floors three through seven," said the Statler's Rachel Roberts, who gave a tour of parts of the hotel and sample rooms in the building. "We have two presidential suites."
The revamped Statler will have 159 deluxe hotel rooms "” a big downsize from the more than 1,000 rooms in the original building that opened in 1956.
"The hotel rooms back then were very small," Roberts said. "Most had fold-out sofa beds."
The original bathrooms were so tiny, it was suggested that ladies sit on the toilet to put on their makeup in the mirror. Each of the new hotel rooms has an oversized bath lined with a walk-in shower and separate soaking tub.
The rooms are furnished with mid-century modern style furniture. Construction isn't finished on the rooftop swimming pool, complete with palm trees.
Down in the lobby, they are getting ready to host a special dinner for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
"All these terrazzo floors have been meticulously restored," Roberts said. "The marble on the walls is all original and has been polished and restored."
Roberts said the grand opening of the hotel is scheduled for early 2018. But it will have a "soft opening" late this summer or early fall. The Statler will be operated as one of Hilton's Curio Hotel locations.
Farmers Branch-based developer Centurion American Development is doing the $175 million redevelopment of the Statler. Dallas-based Merriman Anderson Architects designed the renovations.