Two of my recent photos from my Hotel Series received awards in the Fine Arts/Still Life Category at the Grand Prairie Festival of Arts this last weekend. It was held … Continue reading Grand Prairie Festival of Arts
A few years ago, my daughter had pet rats. It was okay, because she was in college and they weren’t at my house. Then she asked me to watch them one summer when she went to Spain as part of the scholars program at her school. I found out how smart and friendly they were and used them to illustrate a funny story that I would send to my daughter in a series of emails. Basically, it was an excuse to photograph the rats and send funny emails to my baby girl. I don’t remember the story exactly, but it was about the rats calling her to find out when she would come home. They can’t wait, so they look up on the map to see where she was, set out to find her, have some adventures on the way like running with the bulls and seeing famous cave paintings and finally the welcome home party.
This old hotel has been in the news since February when the oldest part of the hotel caught on fire. There is a campaign on Facebook to save and restore what is left of landmark hotel that has been empty since 2006. These photos were taken in July of 2011 when you could still peek in the window of the shops on the ground floor and security guards were stationed in the lobby. They allowed me to step into the lobby and take a few pictures. The details of this old hotel are amazing.
I was thrilled to be allowed to tag along with a photography group that had permission to photograph this historic hotel. The encylopedia of Arkansas explains, “When it opened, the Hotel Pines was regarded as one of the finest hotels in Arkansas. Located near the Union Station, the hotel offered porter service to carry baggage to and from the station. It also was the location of society balls and dances, banquets, and business and civic meetings.”
According to the Arkansas Preservation website, the Riceland Hotel was built in 1929 and was “the hub of duck hunting in Stuttgart, a place where all of the guides would meet. Many celebrities stayed in the Riceland Hotel while engaging in the hunt including: actors Andy Devine, Wallace Bery, Robert Taylor and Rod Cameron; baseball player Ted Williams; publishing giants Joseph Pulitzer, Ray Long, Jim Quirrk; cartoonist Bud Fisher; industry leaders Cluett of Cluett-Peabody, and New York Jeweler Piere Cartier.”