No one knows the exact origins of the LaSalle Hotel building, but records dating back to 1866 show that the property had several early owners. In 1874 a businessman named Volney Cavitt purchased the building for 2,500 gold coins and rented the space to a local business and music academy. The academy ultimately built Bryan’s first theatre and opera house on the second floor.
In 1927 a local businessman, Robert Wistar Howell, decided to purchase the property and turn it into the largest hotel in the city. When the LaSalle Hotel opened its doors in 1929, Bryan was a bustling railroad stop between Houston and Dallas, and train travelers frequently stayed at LaSalle.
As the finest hotel in Bryan, the 100-room LaSalle became a social center for local residents. The first floors of the building housed a coffee shop, ballroom, gallery, beauty parlor, dining room and two small businesses that faced Main Street.
In 1959 the hotel changed ownership and was used as a nursing home for 16 years. In 1979 the landmark building closed its doors permanently and remained vacant for nearly 20 years.
In May of 1999, LaSalle Hotel Limited decided to revive Bryan’s most historic hotel. After more than a year of careful renovations to preserve the original terrazzo flooring and windows, the hotel officially re-opened its doors in September of 2000 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In recent years, more renovations have been done to modernize the café, lobby and guestrooms, while still preserving the timeless details that make our landmark property so unique.
In late 2013 the hotel was purchased by a Paul Clarke hotel company and has begun its transformation into a five-star hotel. The existing plaza is being closed to traffic and converted into an event and zen-garden with rare gems found throughout the world.