When the Antlers Hotel opened in 1911, the area known as ‘Five Points’ was a happening place. The intersection where Texas Street, Texas Avenue, Common and Milam Streets converged in five points of the compass was filled with buildings and commerce.
The Antlers, which would become the ‘New’ Creswell Hotel in 1917 and the Creswell Hotel less than a year later, was one of the forty-plus hotels and rooming houses near the Union Depot train station. The Creswell, though, had longevity. By 1969, Union Station was closed and burned. The Creswell stayed open until 1997- an amazing span of 80 years.
Over the years, Five Points has changed. A number of the beautiful buildings that crowded the area are gone, but the old Creswell remains. As recently as just a few years ago, the small retail spaces on the ground floor were occupied and Epic Aquaria still calls one of the spaces home. The old Creswell and the adjacent single-family home are now on the market. We’re going to take you on a walk through the Creswell, which began life as a ‘working man’s’ hotel.
Unlike the elegant Washington-Youree in the Central Business District, the Creswell was plain, basic, inexpensive nightly accommodation. The lobby still has touches of things that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1940s movie.
Much of the architectural detail in the building is centered around the small lobby area. The vintage hexagon lobby floor tiles are in great shape
and the metal stairwell is quite beautiful. It leads to a mezzanine floor that has a lower ceiling height than the rest of the building.
Light floods the lobby from a giant skylight that can be cranked open. Remember that when this building was constructed, air conditioning didn’t exist, so air flow was important!
Throughout most of the life of the hotel, rooms had only sinks and one or two communal tubs and toilets on each floor. At some point, some of the rooms were retrofit to include an en suite toilet.
The rooms are small and likely came with a twin, or at most, a double bed, a nightstand or two and a small dresser.
All of the rooms had windows for light and air flow. Some look out to lovely views.
There is very little architectural detail of note outside of the lobby, but this Linoleum flooring on the third floor might be original from the 1920s as it has a ‘Deco’ feel to it.
Like many of our downtown historic buildings that have sat vacant, there are issues at the Creswell that need to be addressed- broken skylights allowing water to flow in is tops on the list. The building, though, is solid with no indications of cracks or any structural shifts. The building is going to take work. It will need love, an owner or developer with access to a good line of working capital and a vision, but it has the potential of something quite wonderful. It is currently on the market with an asking price of $325,000. For more information or a tour, contact the Realtor.