Texas Bob Travels

The Ben Milam Hotel

Houston, Texas

Update (6/1/2015)

Another historic Houston building falls to the wrecking ball. The Ben Milam Hotel has been demolished and condos are under construction in its place.

Air Conditioning Comes to Houston

Built in 1928, across from Union Station, the 10 story hotel named after Texas hero Ben Milam was the first hotel in Houston to be completely air conditioned in 1932.

The York Ice Machinery Corporation installed a year-round system that controlled temperatures and humidity, and also cleaned the air. The cost was an astounding depression era $75,000.00. Houston, Texas is now thought to be the most air conditioned city in the world.

The Ben Milam Hotel = Houston, Texas

The Ben Milam Hotel - Houston, Texas
The latest on the Ben Milam Hotel is that it will be torn down soon. How soon, I'm not sure. The building continues to deteriorate. Since these pictures were taken the "Ben Milam Hotel" sign is completely cover with gang graffiti.

Texas Avenue is 100 feet wide. It was designed to allow 14 longhorns to walk horn to horn during cattle drives towards the tracks at Union Station A lot of activity and entertainment on game day.  These guys set up in front of the Southwestern Grill a great place to eat.  It is located on the corner of Texas and Austin Streets.

Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
Texas Avenue looking toward Minute Maid Park on the left

Opened in 2000, Minute Maid Field (dark red brick) is home of the Astros baseball team. The Stadium is air conditioned and has a retractable roof for baseball purist that think they have to sweat to enjoy a game.

Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
Street Musicians on Game Day

A lot of activity and entertainment on game day. These guys set up in front of the Southwestern Grill a great place to eat. It is located on the corner of Texas and Austin Streets.

Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Dining Room
Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
“Slept under sheet, woolen blanket + bed spread here last night, 6-26-37. The answer: Air conditioned rooms (signed) T”
Picture Postcard of the Ben Milam Lobby
Postcard addressed to Mr. J.R. Case - President of J.R. Case Manufacturing