Only about one-third of this formerly block-long row of three-story brick commercial and office structures survives today. The storefronts were separated by identical granite piers on the Magazine Street facade, but the shops were entered from the rear, where a three-story-high, glass-covered pedestrian arcade, extending from Gravier to Natchez streets, was attached to the building behind. Over the years, Banks Arcade (so named because it was built for businessman Thomas Banks) housed a newspaper office, a hotel, an exchange, a restaurant, a barber shop, a bar, and a coffeehouse, where meetings were held in 1835 that led to the Texas Revolution; in the central section was a hotel. Bad investments and financial difficulties forced Banks to sell the arcade in 1843. A two-story, cast-iron gallery was added to the corner unit after the Civil War and was extended across the rest of the facade in the twentieth century. This surviving section of the row of buildings was renovated for use as a hotel in 1999.
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St. James Hotel (Banks Arcade)
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