Texas Historical Commission
Occupying a prominent corner in the southern end of Bryan's central business district, the LaSalle Hotel is an architectural landmark representative of the city's early 20th century commercial development. At that time, Bryan was a major railroad stop between Houston and Dallas, and its depot on the Houston and Texas Central Rail Line (now demolished) once stood across Main Street from the LaSalle Hotel.
Earliest Known Record
This is the earliest known record of The LaSalle structure. At the time, the building was one of the earliest two-story structures in Bryan.
Sold for 2,500 Gold Coins
The Bryan, Texas building was purchased by F.W. McGraw then sold to Volney Cavitt for 2,500 gold coins in 1871.
Life as a Theater & Opera House
The first floor was rented to a local businessman while the second floor served as an Academy of Music, which was Bryan’s first theater center and opera house. It was later converted into a ballroom.
Completed in 1928 for leading businessman Robert Wistar Howell (1877-1960), the LaSalle Hotel was the tallest building in downtown Bryan at the time of its construction.
The Hotel Starts Her Story
The LaSalle, a short walk from the Bryan railroad station, opened at a time when America depended on passenger rail service. Train travelers frequented the LaSalle Hotel as Bryan was a bustling train stop between Houston and Dallas due to its agricultural significance. The hotel’s coffee shop was a gathering place for both the powerful and the ordinary.
Home to Civil War Survivors
The LaSalle was temporarily home to the last survivors of John Bell Hood’s storied Civil War Texas Brigade, who held their final reunions in Downtown Bryan.
Tallest Building in Bryan
The LaSalle Hotel was the tallest building in Bryan, Texas until surpassed by the Varisco Building.
Elvis in Aggieland
Elvis Presley performed at the Saddle Club rodeo arena in Bryan on Aug. 23, and is believed to have stayed and dined at the LaSalle Hotel
Converted into Nursing Home
The LaSalle served as a hotel until it was purchased by J.C. Jacques and repurposed as a nursing home until it was forced to close in 1975 due to new federal regulations.
Converted into Apartment Building
J.C. Jacques sold the property to his son who owned and operated it as an apartment building until closing in 1980.
The LaSalle Gains Notoriety in a Song
The LaSalle gains notoriety in the song “The Front Porch” written and sung by Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett.
A LaSalle Comeback
The LaSalle Hotel Ltd. purchased the hotel in 1997 and began careful renovations to restore the LaSalle to its past glory.
Rebirth of LaSalle
The LaSalle Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 2000 due to the hotel’s significance to the City of Bryan and its downtown area. It once again opened its doors to the public in September of 2000.
The LaSalle Hotel was purchased by Janak Patel, fulfilling a dream to revive a historic boutique hotel by making wholesale changes and renovations.
Resurgence - Downtown Elixir
Downtown Elixir, a casual craft cocktail bar and restaurant with a French Quarter flair paying tribute to its owner’s roots. Whether it be in our expansive courtyard beneath the bistro lights listening to live music, or next to the cozy fireplace surrounded by damask laden walls, we invite you to enjoy the art of the craft cocktail and gourmet cajun fare at College Station’s finest mixology bar.
Resurgence - 5 Knocks Speakeasy
With the right knock, perhaps even you can enter this hideaway speakeasy with a Prohibition-esque vibe, offering craft cocktails and beer. Located in charming downtown Bryan in an obscure basement of the Ole’ LaSalle Hotel, we pay homage to the prohibition roots of this historic hotel.