Inspiration from the Past
Hotel Childress opened its doors in downtown Childress on Dec. 17, 1928, only a year after the organization of Security Investment Company, a firm created by J. Martin Crews, a local banker, rancher and businessman, which sought to build the hotel, as well as other influential buildings throughout Childress.
Designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick, a well-known Fort Worth architect, the five-story hotel, which remains one of the most visible landmarks in the Childress skyline, featured not only a number of high-rise rooms, but also a host of businesses, including Powder Puff Beauty Shop, Childress Hotel Barber Shop, Childress Hotel Drug Store, Childress Hotel Coffee Shop and more, as well as a large lobby and grand ballroom on the first floor.
Despite the Great Depression, which hit the nation only a year after the hotel’s grand opening, Hotel Childress continued to boom, thanks to the railroad, which was an industrial mainstay of Childress well into the 1940s. In fact, the hotel, which was close in proximity to the railroad tracks, served as a popular hub for railroaders, as well as cadets of the Childress Army Airfield, which existed from 1942-1945.
However, as the railroad industry and population began to decline in the 1970s, the hotel did as well, eventually serving as retirement apartments, and then, as a Department of Housing and Urban Development project, before indefinitely closing in the early 2000s.
In the fall of 2016, the hotel was acquired by Hicks Company, with plans for a total renovation of the property. Now completed, the historic hotel features 20 upscale loft apartments with retail on the first floor. The hotel is also home to The Red River Sun, the local newspaper in Childress.