Tiger Times

Restoring the glory

Grim Hotel welcomes new renovations to become apartment complex

Photo by Victoria Van

Photo by Victoria Van

Story by Peyton Sims, staff writer

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The grand opening of the Grim Hotel was in 1925. When a person entered the doors marble flooring lined the ground right underneath their feet and directly above them hung glass chandeliers. Musicians played jazz music outside of the open doors. The rooftop held  gardens and could be transformed into a ballroom where guests could dance the night away. Celebrities were said to have walked the halls and grab a bite to eat at the cafe in the lobby. The Grim holds multiple memories for generations of all ages and Texarkana hopes to renovate to make new memories.

“I remember how beautiful the interior of the Grim was,” Texarkana citizen Bobbie Guilliot said. “Their cafe served the best sundaes, and every week I’d attend a club that was on one of the upper floors and the men would drink at the bar while my child and I would look out the huge glass window and view the Four States fair parade. When they renovate this place I hope they restore the beauty it had before.”

The Grim hosted various events, such as wedding receptions, dances and banquets.

“My wedding reception was held on the rooftop in 1957 where I was married to the love of my life,” Grady Doles said. “The moment itself was unforgettable, but the location we settled on made the event even more tremendous.”

The city of Texarkana plans to turn the current hotel into a set of 98 housing units for people residents with lower incomes. The idea to renovate the historic location has been discussed for the many years, and the city hopes to begin on the project within the near future. There have been lots of contradictions about the renewing of the hotel because it’s a historic building and many believe it should be left as is and should not be altered. Others, however, view the building as an old run down place that teenagers vandalize and try to break into for entertainment.

“The construction should begin in December of this year or the beginning of 2019,” Texarkana’s instructional planner David Oar said. “We have put over $20 million into this project and hope to improve it in many ways. We will redo the entire interior by adding new floors and increase the area of each of the rooms. The apartments will be 400-900 square feet. Each apartment will have one to three rooms. The resolution was passed this July so we hope to be able to start building as soon as possible.”

Multiple celebrities were rumored to have made an appearance in the Grim hotel between the mid 20s until the late 70s. Bonnie and Clyde were thought to have been spotted there, and Bonnie was reportedly seen getting a sandwich and drink from the cafe. Guests stated Marilyn Monroe stayed at this hotel as a pitstop from one of her shows, and Elvis Presley stopped for the night after one of his concerts. Whether the rumors be true or false, the concept of having such well known stars staying in the Grim makes the place even more fascinating.

Another huge factor is that the Grim is known for is for the building being haunted. Most of the stories are all rumors, like silhouettes standing in the windows, ghosts of past customers who stayed the night and passed away in their sleep. Some even say the building was built on top of a couple of graves. Whether they’re true or not, the Grim will always have some spooky factors to it.

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About the Contributors
Peyton Sims, staff writer

Peyton Sims is a first-year staff writer who refuses to leave her home if she’s not satisfied with her outfit. She loves nature and the animals within it, but cannot bring herself to be a vegetarian quite yet, however, she hopes to achieve this in the future. She is involved as a leader within her church and also photographs events and helps with community work. She tends to act like she lives in any generation other than her own, such as the ‘50s, ‘70s, ‘80s, etc. Her love for those eras are reflected through her fashion sense and her music taste. Some days she feels like a hippie from the ‘70s, and others, a young Avril Lavigne from the 2000s. Peyton has a love for drawing and writing and one day hopes to be a best-selling author and attend college in Houston. When she’s not fangirling over her favorite celebrities or TV shows, she’s hanging out with her besties (most likely at the movies, considering there’s nothing else to do in Texarkana). Mainly because of her small town, she finds traveling enjoyable and plans to go all over the world. Peyton believes that positivity is contagious and a single smile can go a long way. She’s super excited for her first year in publications and cannot wait to see the fun adventures that await.

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Victoria Van, editor in chief

Victoria is one half of the “Dream Team” as online editor in chief of the Tiger Times newspaper with Joseph Rodgers. She’s juggling the responsibilities of Art Club president, HOSA and NAHS vice president and her numerous AP classes. Whenever she’s not staying after school, she can typically be found painting whatever she creatively desires while listening to music off her record player. She lives the double life as a creative artist and nerd. Victoria survives off spicy chicken Ramen noodles and meticulously organizing her vast collection of colorful pens and Post-it notes.

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