Advocacy Alert: Historic Luther Hotel in Palacios Threatened with Demolition

The Luther Hotel in Palacios (Matagorda County), constructed in 1903, is one of the few surviving Gulf Coast hotels built as part of extensive land development and tourism schemes throughout Texas in the early 20th century. This incredibly rare historic structure is both individually listed on the National Register and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

Photo: The Luther Hotel © 2016 Larry D. Moore

The Luther is currently under contract to be sold, and the agreement states that the property must be demolished. If an alternative solution is not reached before the expiration of a demolition delay on December 19th, the contract can be closed and the historic hotel will be demolished. The prospective owners plan to rebuild a new hotel on the property.

Several things can be done to keep the Luther standing, including the enactment of a local ordinance protecting the building. In addition, state and federal preservation tax credits would be available to a private owner for rehabilitation of the historic building. The future of Palacios as a heritage tourism destination is dependent on maintaining this historic community anchor.

The Luther Hotel is the Most Endangered Place in Texas. While the complete list of Texas’s Most Endangered Places won’t be announced until later this month, the urgency of the threat to the Luther Hotel requires us to announce now that it will be one of the sites included on the 2022 list.
Preservation Texas is investing in Palacios with a $35,000 grant to the Palacios Colored School through our Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants program. There is great opportunity for Palacios to restore and share its heritage as a powerful tool for economic development. The loss of the Luther Hotel would undermine this long-term strategy.

Photo: Palacios Colored School

The Palacios City Council will meet on Thursday, November 3rd, to discuss its options. Let your voice be heard!

Please take a moment to let the Palacios City Council know that the Luther Hotel matters to all of us, and is worth preserving. E-mail your comments to citysecretary@cityofpalacios.org as well as museumpalacios@gmail.com, and consider sharing your perspective on social media using the hashtag #SaveTheLuther