The famous Shamrock Hotel’s demolition began this week 30 years ago.

1 Houston

Houston News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 1of/62

Image 1 of 62

PHOTOS: See the demolition of the famous Shamrock Hotel

The old Shamrock Hotel still has a nostalgic hold on Houstonians of a certain age. 

Click through to see more images from the hotel’s deconstruction 30 years ago… 

less

PHOTOS: See the demolition of the famous Shamrock Hotel

The old Shamrock Hotel still has a nostalgic hold on Houstonians of a certain age. 

Click through to see more images from the hotel’s deconstruction 30

… more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 2 of 62

Demolition work begins on the Shamrock Hilton, May 31, 1987.

Demolition work begins on the Shamrock Hilton, May 31, 1987.

Photo: Dave Einsel, Houston Chronicle

Image 3 of 62

Demolition work begins on the Shamrock Hilton, May 31, 1987.

Demolition work begins on the Shamrock Hilton, May 31, 1987.

Photo: Dave Einsel, Houston Chronicle

Image 4 of 62

John Horn, his two daughters – Jenny, 14 and Jessica, 8 – and their friend, Rayne Ryan, 14 view the demolition of the Shamrock Hilton Monday afternoon, June 8, 1987.

John Horn, his two daughters – Jenny, 14 and Jessica, 8 – and their friend, Rayne Ryan, 14 view the demolition of the Shamrock Hilton Monday afternoon, June 8, 1987.

Photo: Buster Dean/Houston Chronicle

Image 5 of 62

Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition, August 1987. 

Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition, August 1987. 

Photo: John Everett/Houston Chronicle

Image 6 of 62

Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition rubble, October 1987. 

Click through to see more images of the hotel during its heyday…

Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition rubble, October 1987. 

Click through to see more images of the hotel during its heyday…

Photo: John Everett/Houston Chronicle

Image 7 of 62

Undated (Possibly 1946): Aerial shot of the soon-to-be Shamrock Hotel.

Undated (Possibly 1946): Aerial shot of the soon-to-be Shamrock Hotel.

Image 8 of 62

March 21, 1946: Glenn McCarthy speaks to crowd at groundbreaking ceremony for Shamrock Hotel and McCarthy Center

March 21, 1946: Glenn McCarthy speaks to crowd at groundbreaking ceremony for Shamrock Hotel and McCarthy Center

Image 9 of 62

Early 1947: The Holcombe Boulevard-Main Street intersection. The Shamrock Hotel would occupy this spot later.

Early 1947: The Holcombe Boulevard-Main Street intersection. The Shamrock Hotel would occupy this spot later.

Photo: Paul Peters, Houston Chronicle

Image 10 of 62

March 16, 1949: The day before the opening, the Houston Chronicle published an extensive special section describing the Shamrock Hotel.

March 16, 1949: The day before the opening, the Houston Chronicle published an extensive special section describing the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 11 of 62

March 1949: Shamrock Hotel is ready for it’s grand opening.

March 1949: Shamrock Hotel is ready for it’s grand opening.

Photo: Chester O’Donnell, © Houston Chronicle

Image 12 of 62

March 16, 1949: Shamrock Hotel pre-opening festivities press party.

March 16, 1949: Shamrock Hotel pre-opening festivities press party.

Photo: © Houston Chronicle

Image 13 of 62

March 17, 1949: Photographers record ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel.

March 17, 1949: Photographers record ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 14 of 62

1949: Like many others, young Kathy Covey of Palestine is looking for celebrities at the Shamrock’s opening ceremonies.

1949: Like many others, young Kathy Covey of Palestine is looking for celebrities at the Shamrock’s opening ceremonies.

Image 15 of 62

March 17, 1949: Ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. Glenn McCarthy and his wife, Faustine (women in white hat and dress), pose with their family and honored guests at the ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. less
March 17, 1949: Ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. Glenn McCarthy and his wife, Faustine (women in white hat and dress), pose with their family and honored guests at the … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 16 of 62

March 17, 1949: Onlookers watch as photographers record ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel.

March 17, 1949: Onlookers watch as photographers record ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 17 of 62

03/17/1949 – Glenn McCarthy, his family and honored guests pose for media before ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. Three of Glenn McCarthy’s daughters (not sure of order), Mary Margaret McCarthy, Glenna Lee McCarthy, Leah McCarthy are on the left; young Glenn McCarthy Jr.; entertainer Pat O’Brien and actor Robert Paige (partially obscured behind O’Brien); actress Dorothy Lamour; Glenn McCarthy; Mrs. Glenn (Faustine) McCarthy; youngest daughter Faustine McCarthy. less
03/17/1949 – Glenn McCarthy, his family and honored guests pose for media before ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. Three of Glenn McCarthy’s daughters (not sure of order), … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 18 of 62

March 17, 1949: – Ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. two of Glenn McCarthy’s daughters (not sure of order), Mary Margaret McCarthy and Glenna Lee McCarthy are on the left; young Glenn McCarthy Jr.; behind him are entertainer Pat O’Brien and actor Robert Paige; actress Dorothy Lamour; Glenn McCarthy’s youngest daughter, Faustine McCarthy; Mrs. Glenn (Faustine) McCarthy; Glenn H. McCarthy holding the scissors. less
March 17, 1949: – Ribbon cutting ceremonies at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel. two of Glenn McCarthy’s daughters (not sure of order), Mary Margaret McCarthy and Glenna Lee McCarthy are on the left; … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 19 of 62

March 17, 1949: These revelers wait outside to get in the Shamrock Hotel on opening night.

March 17, 1949: These revelers wait outside to get in the Shamrock Hotel on opening night.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 20 of 62

March 17, 1949: Arrivals at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel were greeted with special editions of the newspaper.

March 17, 1949: Arrivals at the grand opening of the Shamrock Hotel were greeted with special editions of the newspaper.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 21 of 62

March 17, 1949: At the Shamrock’s grand opening, the hotel’s owner Glenn McCarthy is joined by actor Robert Paige, Pat Parham and actor Pat O’Brien.

March 17, 1949: At the Shamrock’s grand opening, the hotel’s owner Glenn McCarthy is joined by actor Robert Paige, Pat Parham and actor Pat O’Brien.

Image 22 of 62

March 17, 1949: Gov. Beauford Jester speaks with Glenna McCarthy in the Emerald Ballroom at Shamrock Hotel’s grand opening party.

March 17, 1949: Gov. Beauford Jester speaks with Glenna McCarthy in the Emerald Ballroom at Shamrock Hotel’s grand opening party.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 23 of 62

March 18, 1949: Actress Ginger Rogers arrives at the Metropolitan theater for the premiere of Glenn McCarthy’s film, “The Green Promise.” The premiere was part of the Shamrock Hilton opening festivities.

March 18, 1949: Actress Ginger Rogers arrives at the Metropolitan theater for the premiere of Glenn McCarthy’s film, “The Green Promise.” The premiere was part of the Shamrock Hilton opening festivities.

Photo: Bud Bigelow, Houston Chronicle

Image 24 of 62

Sept. 11, 1949 – Josephine Abercrombie and husband, Richard C. Hudson, were among the 700 attendees of the Designers’ Millinery Festival show in the Emerald Room of the Shamrock Hotel.

Sept. 11, 1949 – Josephine Abercrombie and husband, Richard C. Hudson, were among the 700 attendees of the Designers’ Millinery Festival show in the Emerald Room of the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Owen Johnson, Houston Chronicle

Image 25 of 62

December 1950: Shamrock Hilton Christmas tree lighting.

December 1950: Shamrock Hilton Christmas tree lighting.

Photo: Houston Chronicle Files

Image 26 of 62

1952: The Shamrock Hotel took part in a United Fund drive.

1952: The Shamrock Hotel took part in a United Fund drive.

Image 27 of 62

Undated: Photo of the former Shamrock Hotel, Houston’s first big hotel built with oil money.

Undated: Photo of the former Shamrock Hotel, Houston’s first big hotel built with oil money.

Photo: Associated Press

Image 28 of 62

1953: An aerial shot of the Shamrock Hotel in south Houston. Valian’s Drive-In Restaurant is seen in the lower left of photo.

1953: An aerial shot of the Shamrock Hotel in south Houston. Valian’s Drive-In Restaurant is seen in the lower left of photo.

Image 29 of 62

1955: The Ed Gerlach Orchestra at the Shamrock Hotel.

1955: The Ed Gerlach Orchestra at the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Gerlach Orchestra

Image 30 of 62

Nov. 28, 1955: President Harry Turman autographed a copy of his book to Shamrock Hotel banquet manager Erick Worscheh while at a dinner.

Nov. 28, 1955: President Harry Turman autographed a copy of his book to Shamrock Hotel banquet manager Erick Worscheh while at a dinner.

Photo: Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle

Image 31 of 62

Undated: Frank Sinatra, appearing at Houston’s Shamrock Hotel during Galveston’s gambling heyday, dropped down to the Balinese Room on his night-off to socialize with, from left, Anthony Fertitta, Jimmy Van Heusen, and Sam Maceo. less
Undated: Frank Sinatra, appearing at Houston’s Shamrock Hotel during Galveston’s gambling heyday, dropped down to the Balinese Room on his night-off to socialize with, from left, Anthony Fertitta, Jimmy Van … more

Photo: Rosenberg Library, Galveston

Image 32 of 62

Feb. 17, 1956: Nothing like paying respects to the boss. New York hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, apparently is no exception. Sign men are changing the name of the Shamrock Hotel to that of Shamrock Hilton. First they put up the Hilton. Then they started on the Shamrock – not with the first letter first, but with the middle letters first. So for several days folks saw, atop the hotel, the sign, quite well spaced, “MR. HILTON”. less
Feb. 17, 1956: Nothing like paying respects to the boss. New York hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, apparently is no exception. Sign men are changing the name of the Shamrock Hotel to that of Shamrock Hilton. First … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Image 33 of 62

Dec. 3, 1957: A fire at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel Hall of Exhibits caused $100,000 to $150,000 damage. The National Swimming Pool Institute’s exposition was ruined.

Dec. 3, 1957: A fire at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel Hall of Exhibits caused $100,000 to $150,000 damage. The National Swimming Pool Institute’s exposition was ruined.

Photo: Larry Evans, Houston Chronicle

Image 34 of 62

Dec. 3, 1957: A fire at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel Hall of Exhibits caused $100,000 to $150,000 damage. The National Swimming Pool Institute’s exposition was ruined.

Dec. 3, 1957: A fire at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel Hall of Exhibits caused $100,000 to $150,000 damage. The National Swimming Pool Institute’s exposition was ruined.

Photo: Larry Evans, Houston Chronicle

Image 35 of 62

Dec. 3, 1957: A fire at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel Hall of Exhibits caused $100,000 to $150,000 damage. The National Swimming Pool Institute’s exposition was ruined.

Dec. 3, 1957: A fire at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel Hall of Exhibits caused $100,000 to $150,000 damage. The National Swimming Pool Institute’s exposition was ruined.

Photo: Larry Evans, Houston Chronicle

Image 36 of 62

1958: Erick Worscheh, center, Shamrock Hotel banquet manager, shown with his staff of captains and waiters at the Shamrock Hotel.

1958: Erick Worscheh, center, Shamrock Hotel banquet manager, shown with his staff of captains and waiters at the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Melissa Phillip

Image 37 of 62

Undated: Shamrock Hotel banquet manager Erick Worscheh with Dionne Warwick taken at the Shamrock Hotel.

Undated: Shamrock Hotel banquet manager Erick Worscheh with Dionne Warwick taken at the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Melissa Phillip

Image 38 of 62

Undated: Zsa Zs Gabor, left, and her unnamed friend with Shamrock Hotel banquet manager Erick Worscheh at the Shamrock Hotel.

Undated: Zsa Zs Gabor, left, and her unnamed friend with Shamrock Hotel banquet manager Erick Worscheh at the Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Melissa Phillip

Image 39 of 62

1959: “Here are 2 photos of me with Hugh O’Brian, TV’s Wyatt Earp,” D.K. Phillips said. “The Hugh O’Brian photos taken around Rodeo time at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, were front page of the Chronicle and the Post (same day). I’m still a cowboy and still dress the part.”
less
1959: “Here are 2 photos of me with Hugh O’Brian, TV’s Wyatt Earp,” D.K. Phillips said. “The Hugh O’Brian photos taken around Rodeo time at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, were front page of the Chronicle and the … more

Photo: Photo Courtesy Of DK Phillips.

Image 40 of 62

1959: “Here are 2 photos of me with Hugh O’Brian, TV’s Wyatt Earp,” D.K. Phillips said. “The Hugh O’Brian photos taken around Rodeo time at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, were front page of the Chronicle and the Post (same day). I’m still a cowboy and still dress the part.”
less
1959: “Here are 2 photos of me with Hugh O’Brian, TV’s Wyatt Earp,” D.K. Phillips said. “The Hugh O’Brian photos taken around Rodeo time at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, were front page of the Chronicle and … more

Photo: Photo Courtesy Of DK Phillips.

Image 41 of 62

April 13, 1962: The Houston Press Club chorus line belting out Finale at 13th annual Gridiron dinner at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel

April 13, 1962: The Houston Press Club chorus line belting out Finale at 13th annual Gridiron dinner at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel

Photo: Ted Rozumalski, Houston Chronicle

Image 42 of 62

June 18, 1963: Mrs. Phillip M. Pappas, first lady of Texas poetry, was honored with a reception at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. She is seated at right. With her, are Mrs. Andrew Louis, and Mrs. Pappas’ son Evan. less
June 18, 1963: Mrs. Phillip M. Pappas, first lady of Texas poetry, was honored with a reception at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. She is seated at right. With her, are Mrs. Andrew Louis, and Mrs. Pappas’ son … more

Photo: AL STARTZMAN, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Image 43 of 62

June 12, 1964: Miriam and Jack Weingarten, Lea Fastow’s parents, at the Cork Club in the old Shamrock Hotel.

June 12, 1964: Miriam and Jack Weingarten, Lea Fastow’s parents, at the Cork Club in the old Shamrock Hotel.

Photo: Houston Chronicle Files

Image 44 of 62

January 1964: An aerial shot of Fannin, Main and Holcombe streets. The Prudential Building on Holcombe is seen on the left and the Shamrock Hilton Hotel is seen on the far right.

January 1964: An aerial shot of Fannin, Main and Holcombe streets. The Prudential Building on Holcombe is seen on the left and the Shamrock Hilton Hotel is seen on the far right.

Photo: Larry Evans, © Houston Chronicle

Image 45 of 62

May 20, 1970: From left to right, Professor Nicolai Blokhin of Moscow, U.S. Rep. George H.W. Bush and Dr. Emil Freireich of Houston converse while at a dinner given by the Houston chapter of the Leukemia Society of America at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The event attracted many of the delegates to the then forthcoming International Cancer Congress. Blokhin was the congress president. less
May 20, 1970: From left to right, Professor Nicolai Blokhin of Moscow, U.S. Rep. George H.W. Bush and Dr. Emil Freireich of Houston converse while at a dinner given by the Houston chapter of the Leukemia … more

Image 46 of 62

Nov. 30, 1970: Barbara Bush and husband, George H.W. Bush, watch election returns at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. U.S. Senate candidate George Bush lost to Lloyd Bentsen later in that evening.

Nov. 30, 1970: Barbara Bush and husband, George H.W. Bush, watch election returns at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. U.S. Senate candidate George Bush lost to Lloyd Bentsen later in that evening.

Photo: Dan Hardy, Houston Chronicle

Image 47 of 62

April 15, 1972: A footsore demonstrator tends to personal matters as his colleagues continue a peaceful picket against Republican Sen. John Tower at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The marchers, supporters of the United Farm Workers, a militant Chicano labor union, protested action by the Republican members of the National Labor Relations Board against their union. Tower, who was at the hotel to address the Student Optometric Association, never met the 35 marchers. less
April 15, 1972: A footsore demonstrator tends to personal matters as his colleagues continue a peaceful picket against Republican Sen. John Tower at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The marchers, supporters of … more

Photo: Bill Clough, © Houston Chronicle

Image 48 of 62

Nov. 27, 1979: Longfellow Elementary students start the season’s Christmas caroling in the lobby of the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in the 6900 block of Main Street. Groups from fourteen other Houston-area schools also performed each weekday from noon to 1 p.m. through Dec. 18. less
Nov. 27, 1979: Longfellow Elementary students start the season’s Christmas caroling in the lobby of the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in the 6900 block of Main Street. Groups from fourteen other Houston-area schools … more

Photo: Dan Hardy, Houston Chronicle

Image 49 of 62

March 10, 1986: A view of the Shamrock Hotel at dusk.

March 10, 1986: A view of the Shamrock Hotel at dusk.

Photo: Larry Reese, File

Image 50 of 62

June 10, 1986: Rachel Longoria is one of many Houstonians who found an excuse to stop by the Shamrock Hilton Tuesday morning, just before it closed for good. The hotel boutique had marked everything down for quick sale – even the store’s fixtures. less
June 10, 1986: Rachel Longoria is one of many Houstonians who found an excuse to stop by the Shamrock Hilton Tuesday morning, just before it closed for good. The hotel boutique had marked everything down … more

Image 51 of 62

December 30, 1986: Glenn McCarthy with a photo of the Shamrock Hotel, which he opened in 1949, was among Houstonians who protested its razing in 1987.

December 30, 1986: Glenn McCarthy with a photo of the Shamrock Hotel, which he opened in 1949, was among Houstonians who protested its razing in 1987.

Image 52 of 62

June 8, 1987: John Horn, his two daughters – Jenny, 14 and Jessica, 8 – and their friend, Rayne Ryan, 14 view the demolition of the Shamrock Hilton Monday afternoon.

June 8, 1987: John Horn, his two daughters – Jenny, 14 and Jessica, 8 – and their friend, Rayne Ryan, 14 view the demolition of the Shamrock Hilton Monday afternoon.

Image 53 of 62

Aug. 18, 1987: Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition.

Aug. 18, 1987: Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition.

Photo: John Everett, Houston Chronicle

Image 54 of 62

1987: The famous Shamrock Hotel being demolished.

1987: The famous Shamrock Hotel being demolished.

Photo: Dave Einsel, Houston Chronicle

Image 55 of 62

Oct. 13, 1987: The historic Shamrock Hilton Hotel Houston is demolished.

Oct. 13, 1987: The historic Shamrock Hilton Hotel Houston is demolished.

Photo: Paul Howell, Houston Chronicle

Image 56 of 62

Oct. 14, 1987: Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition rubble.

Oct. 14, 1987: Shamrock Hilton Hotel demolition rubble.

Photo: John Everett, Houston Chronicle

Image 57 of 62

Oct. 14, 1987: The historic Shamrock Hilton Hotel Houston is demolished.

Oct. 14, 1987: The historic Shamrock Hilton Hotel Houston is demolished.

Image 58 of 62

March 17, 1998: Dick Krueger, left, accompanied by Betty Clifford playing the accordian, sing Irish songs to a small crowd while Jeani Horan and Faye Adams place a wreath at the site of Houston’s former Shamrock Hote. Horan and Clifford, and Faye, former employees of Houston’s first big Hotel, gather each year on St. Patrick’s Day with other former employees and patrons to make a toast to the hotel which was torn down to make a parking lot 10 years prior.
less
March 17, 1998: Dick Krueger, left, accompanied by Betty Clifford playing the accordian, sing Irish songs to a small crowd while Jeani Horan and Faye Adams place a wreath at the site of Houston’s former … more

Photo: MICHAEL STRAVATO, AP

Image 59 of 62

March 17, 1998: Tom Horan, right, accompanied by Betty Clifford playing the accordian, left, sing Irish songs to a small crowd while toasting with Irish Whisky the 10th anniversary of the demise of Houston’s Shamrock Hotel. Horan and Clifford, former employees of the Houston’s first big Hotel, gather each year on St. Patrick’s Day with other former employees and patrons to make a toast and place a wreath at the site of the former hotel which was torn down to make a parking lot.
less
March 17, 1998: Tom Horan, right, accompanied by Betty Clifford playing the accordian, left, sing Irish songs to a small crowd while toasting with Irish Whisky the 10th anniversary of the demise of Houston’s … more

Photo: MICHAEL STRAVATO, AP

Image 60 of 62

March 16, 1999: Tom Horan gives a toast to the Shamrock Hotel, shown in background photograph, Tuesday, , in Houston. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the hotel, Horan has planned a party which will begin after his final wreath laying ceremony to honor the hotel Wednesday, March 17. less
March 16, 1999: Tom Horan gives a toast to the Shamrock Hotel, shown in background photograph, Tuesday, , in Houston. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the hotel, Horan has planned a party which will begin … more

Photo: DAVID J. PHILLIP, AP

Image 61 of 62

March 17, 1999: Web Beard, great-grandson of Glenn McCarthy the owner and builder of the legendary Shamrock Hotel that closed in June 1986, attempts to plant a green carnation Wednesday next to the site where the Shamrock stood on South Main. The boy was there with his mother, Christi, to witness the final wreath-laying ceremony in memory of the Shamrock. The ceremony also marked the 50th anniversary of the construction of the hotel. less
March 17, 1999: Web Beard, great-grandson of Glenn McCarthy the owner and builder of the legendary Shamrock Hotel that closed in June 1986, attempts to plant a green carnation Wednesday next to the site where … more

Photo: D. Fahleson, Houston Chronicle

Image 62 of 62


1 Houston

Houston News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutube

Leave a Reply