This is the outside of The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, as it sits now and has been for as long as I can remember. My mother remembers staying here as a kid for a school function and I hear stories now and again of what it used to be like. I’ve always wanted to stop and take a moment with the old edifice.
I often wonder as I come into Mineral Wells whether it will be the same as always on the skyline, whether I’ll see cranes or scaffolding boasting the start of the oft talked about renovation, or whether I will have missed a memo and it will simply be gone.
It was still there, as I rather like it, this weekend. It is noble in its decrepitude. I understand the impulse to renovate it and give it new life, but I’ll also miss this monument to the passage of time. Lily, 13, begged me to pull over so she could take a few photos with her phone. She is keen on finding instagram shots now. My how time flies. But I was thrilled, because I always assume I drive my family crazy with my detours. I grabbed my camera and my phone and stole these few shots. I only had my 100mm macro lens, my food glass, and so everything is fairly, well, macro. But there are plenty of shots of the face of the hotel to be found here and there.
My favorite bit was the backside of the hotel, with the brick walls overgrown with mossy plants and a glimpse into the heart of the place. I can only imagine the generations that have snuck through the spooky hallways, uninvited.
Alas, time marches. I will probably only have these shots from the street to enjoy. You can apparently set up an interior photos shoot for the bargain price of $1000. Understandable, I suppose, but I’ll pass. And, I’m no kind of trespasser. I’ve always been squeamish in that regard.
I hope the folks who are taking on the renovation do her justice, and do justice to this sweet little town. We had to hop back in the truck and head to grandma. That was far more important on this morning. But I’ve always loved this building. And I hope her next life is grand. Or, I hope she is left as she is. But, I hope for nothing in between those two ends.[Click on photos to see larger images]