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Conrad Hilton Center (Mobley Hotel)

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1916; 1986 rehabilitated, Rinaldo Petrini. 309 Conrad Hilton Blvd.

Henry Mobley bought this site for a hotel from A. J. Olsen, who then became the contractor for Mobley’s hotel. Constructed immediately south of the Texas and Pacific Railway passenger station (not extant), the hotel is a two-story, red brick, U-shaped building without ornament except for stringcourses at the first and second floors and a stepped parapet (see p. 292). A shed-roofed canopy extends most of the length of the main (south) facade. When acquired by Conrad N. Hilton in 1919, the forty-room hotel was prospering from the Eastland County oil boom of 1917. This was Hilton’s first hotel and is where he learned the hospitality business, developing concepts and techniques that led to the Hilton chain’s international success. After he sold the Mobley in 1929, it passed through several owners and uses until it was donated in 1977 to the University of Houston Foundation. In 1979 (the year of Conrad Hilton’s death) the foundation, together with the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and the Hilton family, designated the Mobley as a memorial museum. The structure was rehabilitated in 1986 to incorporate a museum, public meeting facilities, and offices for the Cisco Chamber of Commerce, with an adjacent park. Of the original interiors, only two reconstructed hotel rooms give a hint of the Mobley in its prime.

Towering over the Mobley is the seven-story now abandoned Laguna Hotel (1929, Thomson and Swaine; 107 W. 4th Street), a poignant emblem of Cisco’s urban aspirations during the 1920s.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


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Gerald Moorhead et al., "Conrad Hilton Center (Mobley Hotel)", [Cisco, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 291-291.

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