LUBBOCK LUXURY AT THE PIONEER POCKET HOTEL | YOLO TX
ABOUT THE PIONEER BUILDING
While most mid-rise and high-rise buildings in formerly vibrant downtowns across America rarely experience a second act, one of the Hub City’s most iconic historical structures is thriving today. It’s a true living monument that harkens back to a bygone era when urban life revolved around downtown districts at the center of a community. For decades, many West Texas folks have simply known it as “The Pioneer.” It’s a near century-old architectural marvel, and an undeniably important relic of historic Lubbock and West Texas.
Here’s a short history of what is now known as “The Pioneer Pocket Hotel.”
The eleven-story structure was originally constructed during the roaring twenties to provide much-needed housing during a boom time. The Lubbock Hotel was born, and was the premier hotel in the area. For more than 30 years, its elegant ballroom played host to near every major social and civic event of the day. For 29 years, the Lubbock Hotel was the tallest building in the city, until she was bested by the Metro Tower in 1955.
Ownership changed hands and the hotel adopted the well-known moniker, “The Pioneer Hotel.” The lobby floors were remodeled in Italian marble, three restaurants were added and the palatial ballroom was expanded.
The Pioneer, like much of downtown Lubbock, fell prey to mass migration to the south and west after the devastating Lubbock Tornado of 1970. The building began to fall into disrepair and was sold again and converted into a retirement center.
After more than two decades of decline, the Pioneer closed its doors. Like many abandoned structures, the famous building and familiar part of the Lubbock skyline became more of a legend, with tales of paranormal activity and haunted halls and rooms.
McDougal Companies bought the Pioneer with plans to renovate and return it to its previous glory as luxury condos, and lead the way for Lubbock’s downtown revitalization.
After recovering from a series of setbacks over seven years, including the real estate crisis of 2008, the Pioneer finally began leasing in 2012 with an incredible remodel that preserved its distinctive renaissance revival architecture while making the building energy efficient and restoring its iconic staircase.
The third floor was refashioned into the Pioneer Pocket Hotel, a contactless hotel that is one of the area’s most memorable and unique lodging experiences.
ABOUT THE MILLSAP BUILDING
The Millsap Suites, directly across the street from the Pioneer, are located in a historically significant building at 1116 Broadway Street. The property’s lineage traces back to 1926 when Shelton’s Shoe Hospital opened there. In 1931, the location was repurposed as the Senate Café. It later served as a cinema when Broadway Theatre opened and operated until 1947. The property was home to Skibell’s of Lubbock, a popular women’s clothier beginning in the 1950s. In 1987 Mike Millsap significantly remodeled the building and opened his law firm in the space, sharing the property with a number of tenants over the years. The second floor continues as a law office to this day.