102 Cypress Street
Style: Mission/Spanish Revival, Eclectic
Colonel W.L. Beckham built the Grace Hotel in 1909 and named the property after his daughter, Grace. This structure was the finest full-service hotel on the railroad line between Fort Worth and El Paso. It’s location is no mistake – when you visit this site, you will notice it’s right across the street from the T&P train station. Renamed the Drake in 1946, the hotel flourished until the 1960s when passenger train service ceased in Abilene and downtown traffic declined. It closed in 1973 when its boiler failed and by the 80s was in ruin and inhabited by rats, vagrants, and cats.
The Abilene Preservation League intervened by purchasing the hotel in 1986 and returning the property to its former glory. The site reopened as the Grace Cultural Center on February 15, 1992. In 1998, the official name of the museum changed to The Grace Museum.
This property is now owned and operated by the nonprofit, Grace Museum, Inc.