A CENTER OF COMMUNITY ACTIVITY
The Holland Hotel, initially constructed in 1912, is located in the heart of the west Texas community of Alpine. Built for local rancher John R. Holland and designed by architect Henry C. Trost in the Spanish Colonial Revival-style popular during the period, the Holland Hotel provided the community with a center for both social and business activities. The turn of the 19th century brought a thriving economy with it for the Alpine region; primarily due to the successful mercury mining industry booming along the Texas/Mexico border just eighty miles or so to the south. Improvements to the hotel, including a third story and bathrooms in each room, were made within a decade of its completion and telephone service was added in the late 1920s. Equipped with both a coffee shop for morning cattle deals and a grand ballroom for evening galas, the Holland suited a rural ranching community on the rise after nearly fifty years stationed along the edge of the Texas frontier. “No one enterprise in this part of Texas has given to this city, and to this part of the Southwest, more favorable publicity nationally than has the Holland Hotel,” exclaimed the Marfa New Era in 1924.
The Holland Hotel continued to operate until the late 1960s. Its long history includes an attempted murder in 1947 (a woman armed with a handgun entered the hotel lobby and shot the hotel’s assistant manager five times) and its lobby served as a home for Blackie, a pet blackbird allowed free reign of the hotel during the 1950s. After it closed, several attempts were made to re-open the hotel in the ensuing decades, none as successful as the enthusiastic effort made during the first decade of the 21st century. Today, the Holland thrives as a well-appointed boutique hotel for visitors to the Big Bend region, featuring 25 guest rooms, a balcony suite, a restaurant grill and lounge, and a rooftop penthouse.