The mural as it appears today. Note the two marble pillars just a few feet in front of the mural.
Panning right from the mural, the Empire Room featured a gorgeous colored - glass wall that must have really been stunning at night. The wall served as the backdrop for the stage.
Here is a composite photograph of the entire mural with the pillars digitally removed. The uncorrected distortion is from shooting around the pillars to get the entire work of art.
The 1001 room Statler-Hilton hotel was the showpiece of the Hilton hotel chain when it was built in 1956. It is one of the best examples of mid-20th century design in the country - a grand dame like Auntie Mame with swooping staircases like the tailfins on autos, cool white marble like a mink wrap on a starlet, and one of the swankiest Rat-Pack era nightclubs in town, the Empire Room.
The hotel suffered innumerable "up-dates" over the years, was sold by Hilton in 1988, and has been mothballed since 2001.
Mercifully, the story now doesn't end there as developer Leobardo Trevino bought the building and is doing a sensitive adaptive reuse project on the old girl.
This mural, signed and dated by NYC public artist Jack Lubin, was the Empire Room matching diamond earring to its gorgeous partner - the circular nightclub wall with the colored glass. No one, including Trevino, new the mural was still there - it had been covered up with a brick wall during one of those "up-dates."
Thanks to Noah Jeppson of http://www.unvisiteddallas.com/harwood-historic-district for introducing me to Ruben Salinas of the Ricchi Group, who graciously gave me access to shoot the mural.
Much more to come about this gem - I'm in love with the mural and the hotel!