The Menger Hotel was built in 1859 by W.A. Menger. It has now been designated a National Historic Landmark.  Designed by architect John Fries, the original two story building occupies a prominent location on Alamo Plaza. Originally Menger built a brewery here, and soon added a hotel. It has been added onto several times through the years.
this Alamo Plaza view was provided by Kent, of Internet Pages of San Antonio, 060199.
General Robt E. Lee rode his horse through the doors (in the picture above) into the original lobby. In December, 1991, the lobby was renovated (Lewis Fisher, A.I.A.) to accomodate up to date wiring, fire protection, lighting, etc. This required lowering the ceiling height about six inches, to allow room for piping the sprinkler system. The profile from an earlier cornicework (probably turn of the century) was copied for the new ceiling. Battersby Ornamental ran the new cornice, in place, as a subcontractor under R.R. Cauble Lath and Plaster. This room is approximately 24' x 44'. A new suspended white coated plaster ceiling was also installed at this time. The archway leading into the hotel had been removed at some time in the past, and it was also rebuilt to the original specs.
General Ulysses S. Grant did some drinking at the Menger Bar, and Teddy Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders at the bar.
Gutzon Borglum had a studio in the Menger where he did his drawings for Mount Rushmore, and it was "home", in San Antonio, for Mae West, Lilly Langtry, and Sarah Bernhardt.
O. Henry stayed at the Menger, and mentioned it in several of his stories.
I have some construction photos to view, if you click here. Photos of the finished work will be added soon.
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