A landmark East Texas hotel is making its comeback this summer.
Boasting a mid-century modern style, the Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches celebrates the building’s history with decor and custom-made furniture replicating those of the 1950s while offering guests modern technology and other amenities.
Barbara DeWitt, wife of owner Richard DeWitt, said the original hotel was gutted to redo everything from plumbing to electricity, but the original floors, doors to the banquet area, trim and windows have been preserved; the classic Nine Flags Bar will return, though it’s been expanded. The DeWitts aimed “to keep everything original as much as possible,” Barbara said.
She said that when the six-story hotel opened in the ’50s, it was the only one of its kind. Then called the Fredonia Inn, it was packed “95 percent of the time,” Barbara said, growing so popular by the ’60s that an addition with 30 units, called the Oak Terrace, was built.
Barbara said the hotel was community-driven and essentially community-owned, as multiple Nacogdoches residents invested in the hotel and helped it grow.
Richard DeWitt took ownership of the hotel in 2015, two years after it closed. Barbara said locals were concerned that the hotel would be converted to a different business, but “my husband’s from Nacogdoches; he was raised here, and he remembers spending a lot of time as a child in the swimming pool here at Christmastime. So he wanted to do something for the town and make everyone proud.
“You just have to come see it. It looks like a big-city hotel in a small town.”