Just When You Thought It Was Already Long Gone: A Second Demolition for the Shamrock Hotel

Interior of Edwin Hornberger Conference Center, Former Shamrock Hotel, Houston

The last remaining building associated with Houston’s 1950s-era glam-magnet Shamrock Hotel is slated to be torn down, reports Cynthia Lescalleet in the West U. Examiner. The Shamrock’s former ballroom facility at 2151 W. Holcombe became the Edwin Hornberger Conference Center in 1996, nine years after the Shamrock itself was famously axed.

The Texas Medical Center has more building plans for the site:

TMC will build 250,000 square feet of office space in three floors to be added atop the Bell building, which also houses the existing parking garage, said TMC’s John Kajander. The added space is to support TMC institutions, he said.

The building housing the Hornberger’s foyer and ballroom “is nearing the end of its useful life,” he said, and will be taken down.

A little Hornberger history:


Postcard of Former Shamrock Hotel and Ballroom Facility, Houston

It was built on what had been a grassy area between Trader Vic’s, a tiki-tropical restaurant and club at the Shamrock, and the parking garage.

When TMC took over the space, it converted the first floor of the adjacent parking garage into exhibit hall space and retained the kitchen area of what had been Trader Vic’s, [center director Nella Gambrell] said. (The Hornberger’s zig-zagged wall was also a vestige of that establishment.) Hidden behind the curtains at one end of the ballroom are oversized doors that enabled cattle from the Livestock Show and Rodeo to parade through for the auction.

Photo of Hornberger Conference Center Interior: Texas Medical Center. Postcard of former Shamrock Hotel (the site of the Hornberger Center is at right): Flickr user anthomania.

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