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Texas | Architecture | Rooms with a Past

The Gibraltar Hotel
Paris, Texas

by Robin Jett
Gibraltar Hotel, Paris, Texas
1920 postcard courtesy of
rootsweb.com/~txgenweb/postcards
The Gibraltar Hotel was once Paris’ shining glory, a testament to its growth. Built in 1915 by Richard H. Blyth, Edward Buford Norment and B.P. Bailey, it accommodated passengers on the St. Louis-Dallas rail line – a time when towns had street cars and real train service. Though damaged in the 1916 fire, the owners were optimistic enough to add a seventh story upon restoration. But like most downtown hotels, it fell out of favor with the traveling public, who wanted their lodgings close and convenient to the highways.
Gibraltar Hotel, in Paris, Texas today
The Gibraltar Hotel today

Photo courtesy Robin Jett, 8-23-03
The hotel has had numerous owners since then, and has stood empty sentry over downtown since the late 1970s. Gutted and in various states of decay, the hotel has lost much of its past beauty. One owner even committed suicide in 1985, although if the ghosts of the Gibraltar Hotel had anything to do with that is anyone’s guess. In 2004, Don “Pinky” Wilson, a local businessman, took ownership and intends to make the old building into a senior center and condominium complex. Hope springs eternal…

© Robin Jett
January, 2003
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