The Abandoned Baker Hotel - Mineral Wells, Texas
I’m drawn to abandoned places; pulled by history and loneliness, the quiet holding echoes and visions. I imagine pasts for imagined people, invisible threads tying us together, a half finished story bridging time.
Darrell is always hoping we’ll stumble into an adventure. Which really means something along the lines of an episode of Scooby Doo or discovering a dead body. A little gruesome maybe but we’re both just happy to explore with our cameras.
We came across The Baker Hotel last February on our way back from a fencing tournament in the Austin area. We had to stop.
The Baker Hotel rises out of the surrounding landscape, visible from miles away, strange and decaying. It's not until you're closer that you can see the missing windows and boarded up doors, the no trespassing signs and chain link fence. It was built in 1929 and advertised as a place to come and enjoy the mineral waters, just like Hot Springs, Arkansas. It hosted movie stars and politicians but eventually business slowed and the hotel closed.
Why are these places left to decay? Money, lack desire to keep them going, life and circumstance changes. It’s so easy to walk away, to build something new. And every time we do, we leave footprints, a trail of crumbling ruins. And then we become accustomed to these empty spots, our eye skips over them in our daily routine. We no longer see the dead mall, the abandoned house, or the closed restaurant. They stand, silent, witnessing the world moving forward, words scrawled in the dirty windows, no trespassing signs brand new or fading.
Supposdly The Baker Hotel will be renovated sometime in the future. I would love to see it made new; it’s such a beautiful building. But I love it as it is too, decaying and silent.