Restoring the glory

Grim Hotel welcomes new renovations to become apartment complex


Photo by Victoria Van

Story by Peyton Sims, staff writer

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.