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Hotel Adolphus
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Hotel Adolphus in 2009
Hotel Adolphus is located in Texas
Hotel Adolphus
Hotel Adolphus
Location in Texas
Hotel Adolphus is located in the United States
Hotel Adolphus
Hotel Adolphus
Location in the United States
Location 1321 Commerce St.,
Dallas, Texas
Area less than one acre
Built 1911 (1911)
Architect Barnett, Haynes & Barnett; Tom P. Barnett
Architectural style Beaux-Arts
Part of Dallas Downtown Historic District (ID04000894)
NRHP reference No. 83003133
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 14, 1983
Designated CP August 11, 2006

Hotel Adolphus (often referred to as "The Adolphus") is an upscale hotel and Dallas Landmark in the Main Street District of Downtown Dallas Dallas, Texas. It was for several years the tallest building in the state. Today, the hotel is part of Marriott Hotel's Autograph Collection.


The Adolphus was opened on October 5, 1912, built by the founder of the Anheuser-Busch company, Adolphus Busch in a Beaux Arts style designed by Thomas P. Barnett of Barnett, Haynes & Barnett of St. Louis. Busch's intention in constructing the hotel was to establish the first grand and posh hotel in the city of Dallas. Under the management of Otto Schubert from 1922–1946, the hotel grew to national prominence. With 22 floors standing a total of 312 feet (95 m), the building was the tallest building in Texas until it was dwarfed by the Magnolia Petroleum Building (now the Magnolia Hotel) just down the street in August 1922. The building underwent a series of expansions, first in 1916, then 1926 and finally in 1950, at the time giving the hotel a total of 1,200 rooms.

In the 1930s, it was run by hotel industry pioneer Ralph Hitz's National Hotel Management Company and played host to many big band musicians of the era, including Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.

In addition, the Adolphus Hotel was featured in Victor H. Green's Negro Motorist Green Book in 1936. Green published his Green Book, as it is commonly known, as a guide for blacks seeking recreation, and as a road map for black travelers to avoid fatal encounters with whites during the Jim Crow era. Effectively, the Green Book informed blacks not only where they should visit ― which hotels and restaurants and hair salons ― but quite literally where they should not go if they valued their lives. In the early 20th century, the Adolphus Hotel was a resting place for the Ku Klux Klan, which routinely terrorized blacks in the area. The hotel also enforced segregation through the 1950s.

In 1936, the historian and political activist J. Evetts Haley organized at the Adolphus his third party, the "Jeffersonian Democrats of Texas", to oppose within Texas the reelection of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom Haley considered a socialist.

The Adolphus has been the host of many respected leaders of business, government and entertainment, including presidents, from Warren G. Harding to George H. W. Bush. Elizabeth II and Prince Philip also stayed at the hotel in 1991. Acclaimed British Milliner Nick Smith resided at the hotel for several months in 2007 to write his début novel "Rock Royalty: Diary of a Supermodel". This hotel was a Dallas hub for entertainment and provided a platform that helped developing careers, such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny and others. North American Aviation (P-51 Mustangs, World War II) and others benefitted from its position as a Texas business hub. During the 1980s, the Adolphus underwent a US$80 million renovation, enlarging and modernizing the already-luxurious guestrooms. It also shrunk the total number of guestrooms to 428 to make the rooms more spacious. The Adolphus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The Hotel has been named one of the top ten in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler and also receives high ratings from Zagat, Fodor's and Frommer's.

The structure is a Dallas Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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