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Director of Communications
Around The Library
The Gale Virtual Reference Library is currently experiencing intermittent connectivity problems. The library is working with Gale to restore seamless access to the eBook content. If you are trying to connect to a Gale Virtual Reference Library eBook, please try the link several times. We have found that retrying will sometimes force a connection. If retrying now does not bring up the eBook, please retry your search later today.
Please enjoy an interesting look at one of Houston’s landmark hotels–The Shamrock Hotel!
The Shamrock Collection in the UH Digital Library consists of menus from the many restaurants, bars and lounges in the hotel, staff newsletters, and promotional pamphlets. It chronicles the transition of ownership and highlights of the hotel’s golden years.
The Shamrock Hotel was the grandest hotel in the city of Houston from 1949 until its decline and demolition in 1987. Built by Glenn McCarthy (wildcatter and oil tycoon) between 1946 and 1949, it opened with great fanfare. Three thousand dignitaries, celebrities and the socially prominent were present for its grand opening on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1949, attended by no less than Errol Flynn, Ginger Rogers and Robert Preston. The partygoers were brought in on a customized Boeing 307 Stratoliner and by a Santa Fe Super Chief train specially chartered by McCarthy. Approximately 50,000 people gathered outside of the hotel.
While the hotel was immense, expensive and lavish, it was also considered by many to be garish and more than a little over the top.
The hotel became a destination for Houstonians and played host to numerous social events such as debutante balls, receptions, business meetings, presidential visits and visits from other heads of state. The Shamrock hosted cattle auctions and also was a gathering spot for the Houston Rodeo.
The hotel had 1,100 rooms and many restaurants, bars and lounges. Those who swam in the hotel’s huge swimming pool, which measured 165 by 142 feet, remember it fondly. The swimming pool even hosted water skiing exhibitions, complete with motorboats.
The Hilton Hotels Corporation acquired the Shamrock Hotel in 1954. Burdened with a poor location, burgeoning competition and stagnant occupancy rates, its popularity declined. The hotel described in Edna Ferber’s novel Giant as the “Conquistador,” which saw performers such as Dorothy Lamour and Frank Sinatra grace its clubs, never fulfilled McCarthy’s vision of a destination resort, conference and shopping center.
“Let us consecrate THE SHAMROCK to friendship – the motto of the State of Texas….May that motto be alive here as long as THE SHAMROCK is privileged to serve the great city of Houston as its ambassador of good will to the world.” – Glenn McCarthy
The Digital Services department at the M.D. Anderson Library would like to extend a huge thank you to Mark Young at the Hospitality Industry Archives, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of Houston, for his generosity and helpfulness in bringing this collection to the Digital Library.
The M.D. Anderson Library will be open extended hours during the Spring 2011 Finals period.
May 3 – Open at 7am; Open 24 hrs
May 4 – Open 24 hrs
May 5 – Open 24 hrs
May 6 – Close at 11:45pm
May 7 – 8:00am – 7:45pm
May 8 – Open at 12 Noon; Open 24 hrs
May 9 – Open 24 hrs
May 10 – Open 24 hrs
May 11 – Open 24 hrs
May 12 – Close at 11:45pm
Additional details on extended hours will be posted on the website and on signs within the building.
Intercession Hours begin May 13th.
The final Poetry & Prose reading of the season will feature UH undergraduate creative writers who have work appearing in the forthcoming issue of Glass Mountain: Mariah Kizer, Sessa Kratz, Penny Montalvo, Luke Patterson, Roxanne Terrell, David Toombs, as well as former co-editor Regina Vigil. For details and reader bios, check out the Poetry & Prose website.
Join us Wednesday, April 13th, at 5:30pm in the Honors College Commons (M.D. Anderson Library, Level 2).
The reading is free and open to the public, so bring friends and colleagues! Light refreshments will be served.
We look forward to seeing you at the final reading of the season!
Copies of Glass Mountain’s latest issue, featuring work by most of the event’s writers, will available for sale at the reading.