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Learn about the rich history of The Emily Morgan Hotel - a DoubleTree by Hilton.

medical arts building

The Emily Morgan Hotel did not become the famed hotel it is today until 1984. Formerly, the building was the Medical Arts Building and later an office complex. The name originates from the famous story of a servant girl, Emily D. West, who wooed the Mexican General Santa Anna during the Battle of San Jacinto. Combining impressive architecture, a long history of tales from the Medical Arts Building, and the significance behind the name, The Emily Morgan Hotel is a landmark in the state of Texas. It was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District in 1977.

Important Historic Dates

  • 1924 - The thirteen-story Medical Arts Building is built by architect Ralph Cameron and developer JM Nix
  • 1976 - The building is converted into an office space
  • 1977 - Recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District
  • 1984 - The Emily Morgan Hotel opens to the public
  • 2010 - The Emily Morgan Hotel receives AIA San Antonio's Twenty-Five Year Distinguished Building Award
  • 2012 - The Emily Morgan undergoes a multi-million dollar renovation and joins the DoubleTree by Hilton family



Architectural History

Built in 1924, The Emily Morgan Hotel was originally developed by JM Nix to be the Medical Arts Building on the Alamo Plaza. Designed by architect Ralph Cameron, the thirteen-story tower is influenced by the Gothic revival and features pieces of cast iron, unique ornamentation, and a copper roof with wood ribs. Perhaps the most interesting architectural feature of the building is the array of gargoyles that line the building, each portraying a medical ailment.

Building History

From 1924 to 1976, what is now The Emily Morgan Hotel was used as a Medical Arts Building. The building housed doctors' offices and a hospital. In 1976 the building was converted into modern office space, but was transformed into a hotel less than 10 years later.

The Emily Morgan Hotel Today

Since 1984, The Emily Morgan Hotel has proudly been providing upscale accommodations and services to guests. Travelers come from near and far to explore the building and admire its beautiful architecture. In December 2012, The Emily Morgan Hotel joined the DoubleTree by Hilton family and has been operating as a DoubleTree Hotel ever since.

Fun Facts about the Emily Morgan's History

  • "The Yellow Rose of Texas" is an old folk song celebrating the independence of Texas, paying homage to Emily Morgan.
  • In 2010, The Emily Morgan Hotel received AIA San Antonio's Twenty-Five Year Distinguished Building Award in Recognition of Outstanding Design and Achievement for the Medical Arts Building.
  • Guests were invited to sign original bricks of the building in 2012 that are now placed beneath new construction.

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