The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas is an upscale hotel which was built in 1911 by Adolphus Busch, the co-founder of Anheuser-Busch. The hotel opened its doors October 5, 1912 and although it was the most glamorous and posh hotel in the area, tragedy struck quick.
Just two weeks after the opening, a waiter fell three stories down the elevator from the main lobby. He was talking with someone when he backed into the elevator, not realizing the doors were open but the elevator car was not present. Presenting with a crushed skull, he died two hours after arriving at the hospital.
In 1913, a salesman walking past The Adolphus Hotel dropped to the side walk and thirty minutes later he was pronounced dead from an “acute attack of indigestion and apoplexy”. During those times, it was difficult to tell a stroke from a heart attack. Either way, the man suffered a sudden death.
In 1915, a young man traveling for work was found dead in his room with a nearly empty poison bottle.
In 1917, a sixteen year old arrived early for his shift as an elevator boy. He attempted to jump on the already moving elevator but missed his step. His skull was crushed and both legs broken. He died from his fatal injuries.
In 1924, a chef stuck his head in the elevator shaft to see if the car was moving. The descending car decapitated the man upon impact.
In 1930, a man was found dead in the air shaft. He had fallen from the eighth floor and his head and body torn by the metal as he fell.
In 1933, the two year old son of a musician peered out a twelfth story window to see the band playing on the street below when the window screen came loose. The boy fell twelve stories to his death.
In 1940, a fifty year old man plunged from the eleventh floor and struck his head on the hotel’s marque. The man was on fire and believed to be escaping the fire in his room
In 1971, a band attempted to load their equipment on the elevator. They asked the hotel porter to check if the car was present and he responded with a, “Yes, it’s here”. However, when the porter stepped back to enter the elevator, he fell down the shaft to his death.
There seems to be consistent issues with falling and dying at The Adolphus Hotel, proving money can’t buy everything. It certainly can’t buy safety, even in once of the most posh hotels. However, the death tolls have slowed and most certainly the hotel has met current safety standard. Odds are good the elevators function properly, but with such a haunting past, can one be sure? Despite the seer height of the building, I’d still walk up and down the stairs, holding tightly onto the guardrail.