Allen Park Inn falls victim to Allison, contents to be sold at auction

Once the home of quiet elegance and impeccable service, the Allen Park Inn now sits shuttered and moribund behind an ugly, sagging chain link fence.

The Inn, which began life as the most pedestrian of hostelries, came to be known as an oasis within the heart of the Houston. Just outside of downtown, it provided a sanctuary for the famous and not so famous, stockbrokers and bankers, celebrities and CEOs.

The 249-room inn opened in 1960 as a small Ramada Hotel. Rebecca and Robert Harris – descendents of the oil-rich Blaffer family of Texas – took over in 1974, added new buildings, a staff of 100 and a long list of corporate clients including Enron, Entex and a number of local law firms.

The offbeat hotel was a favorite gathering spot for a select group, playing host to numerous parties, galas and concerts, including performances by noted classical artists and country music legend Willie Nelson

The curtain fell on the Allen Park Inn last June, long before the terrorist attacks of 9-11 dampened the booming economy or the fall of corporate giant Enron brought it to a virtual standstill.
Tropical storm Allison devastated the Inn’s lobby, restaurant and ballroom and the Harris family has decided not to rebuild.

The contents of the historic landmark including many fine antiques, chandeliers, plants, kitchen equipment, linens, phones, artwork and full rooms of furniture will be sold by catalog at Webster’s Auction, 14463 Luthe Road, on February 10th. There will be public viewing at the Inn on February 6-8, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

When everything that made the offbeat hotel “the place to be” is gone, the building will be demolished and the seven acres of valuable real estate it occupies put on the market.
The Inn’s closing signals the end of an era and the end of a tradition of hospitality and elegance that will not soon be duplicated.

For information about the upcoming auction, go to or call 281-442-2351.