Tower Hotel Courts

The Tower Hotel Courts on Harry Hines Blvd & Duncan Hines, Part 2

You might be surprised to discover the Adolphus Hotel, Baker Hotel, Statler Hilton Hotel AND the Tower Hotel Courts motel have something in common (aside from my affinity for them!)  They were listed in Duncan Hines Travel books in 1962.

I’ve included a photo of a postcard from my collection below. You’ll see at the bottom of the postcard “Recommended by Duncan Hines”.  Also, take a moment to admire the depiction of the Tower Hotel Courts.  What a stark contrast it is in modern times.  (Images featured can be enlarged when you click.)

Tower Hotel Courts
Below is a Dallas Morning News article published on January 14, 1962 that discusses Hines’ travel book. I went ahead and typed it for ease in reading. I did bold my favorite places listed.  The original article is also visible below. The content is copyrighted by NewsBank and/or its content providers.

“Duncan Hines Publications Lists Dallas Establishments

Thirty-three Dallas eating and lodging establishments are listed in the 1962 editions of the Duncan Hines Travel Books, “Adventures in Good Eating” and “Lodging for a Night.”
The Dallas establishments are among 9,300 eating and lodging places in North America “Recommended by Duncan Hines.”

Listed in “Adventures in Good Eating” are: Arthur’s, Bali Hai, Cattlemen’s Steak House, Chateaubriand, Copper Cow Restaurant, Dobbs House Luau at Love Field Airport, Il Sorrento, La Tunisia, La Vieille Varsovie (The Old Warsaw), Mario’s Restaurant, Ports o’ Call in the Southland Center Building, S&S Tea Room, Safari Restaurant, Town & Country Restaurant and Vick’s Continental Restaurant.

Listed in “Lodging for a Night” are: Hotel Adolphus, Baker Hotel, Sheraton-Dallas Hotel, Statler Hilton Hotel, Baxter House Motor Hotel, Belmont Motor Hotel, Eastern Hills Motor Hotel, Executive Inn Motor Hotel, Holiday Inn Motor Hotel, Holiday Inn Central Motor Hotel, Lamplighter Motor Inn, Marriott Motor Hotel, Oaks Manor Motor Hotel, Ramada Inn Motor Hotel, Shamrock Motel, Tower Hotel Courts, Town House Motor Hotel and the Westerner Motel.

“This is our twenty-seventh year of continuous publication and service to the American traveling public,” Roy H. Park, editor in chief, stated. “It is also our fifth year of continuing surveys—our public opinion audit of eating and lodging establishments. This year we received 60,000 nominations of more than 12,000 restaurants, hotels, motels and resorts from 11,000 people who have the means to eat and stay at the best places in North America.”

Newsbank DMN Jan 14 1961

“Duncan Hines Publications List Dallas Establishments.” Dallas Morning News, Final Edition ed., 14 Jan. 1962, p. 5. NewsBank, Accessed 31 Oct. 2018.

A couple fun observations and rabbit holes:

  • Remember when there were simpler times when Trip Advisor, Expedia, Yelp and other online reviews didn’t exist? Instead books like the above were put together with old-fashioned surveys.
  • I looked up a couple of the restaurants listed in the article to see if they have survived the test of time (and COVID-19)

Arthur’s: Relocated to Addison and is still open. I’ve eaten at the location in Addison a few years ago. Tore and I showed off our ballroom dance skills on their dance floor. I remember I was the YOUNGEST person there – I felt daggers as everyone watched me having fun dancing! The image below is from their website.

Arthurs Steakhouse Addison 12-13-2020

Bali Hai: Does not exist, I don’t know when it was closed. Information is not readily available. But I did find a WBAP-TV/NBC news script discussing the opening of this restaurant.

Date: September 28, 1959.
Here’s the excerpt from the script:
“A fancy, new beanery in north Dallas decides to mix a little fashion, here and there, with its filet mignon. Megumi McPherson, a Japanese girl who acquired a Scotch husband, is hostess at the half-a-million dollar restaurant, know as the Bali Hai, which just opened at 82-hundred Douglas”
The complete script is on the Portal to Texas History page.

Bali Hai Dallas - The Portal to Texas History

Of course I had to look up 8200 Douglas in Dallas.  Here’s a Google Maps shot.

8200 Douglas Bali Hai

Old Warsaw: Still open.  The image below is from their website.  If you Google there’s a D Magazine review that wrote a disparaging article about this restaurant being outdated.  However, I think it’s a selling point if it is indeed a time capsule.  I hope to eat there some day.

Old Warsaw Website Image

I’ll wrap up by showing the back of the Tower Hotel Courts postcard that I featured at the beginning of this post.  I prefer buying postcards that have been used – they are more interesting.

Tower Hotel Courts

A close-up view of the handwritten message, postmarked May 8, 1964.

Tower Hotel Courts

I typed the text if you have difficulty with the cursive.  If you can make out the one missing word, comment so I can update.

“Dear Mother and Dad,

Had a very nice trip down here. Went through Ste. Genevieve and ???  Stayed at Searcy Arkansas and drove through Hot Springs.

Love, Alex and Maria.”

Hope you enjoyed the meandering journey.  If you have a library card, I encourage you to explore NewBank online.  There is so much information available to explore in old newspaper articles.

More Tower Hotel Courts blogs will be published as time permits.

If you have any stories related to the Tower Hotel Courts or any of the other places listed don’t hesitate to comment!

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