50 A THUMB-NAIL HIrORY OF
wooden shanties and their destruction was the best
thing that could have happened.
Almost before the ground grew cold again workmen
were busy digging trenches for foundations,
and in a short time several really fine brick buildings
were erected. Mr. Wm. Van Alstyne, father of Mr.
A. A. Van Alstyne, now of Galveston, had the
honor of erecting the first three-story building in
Houston. It was a very attractive building and
stood on the corner of Main and Congress, directly
opposite the present Krupp and Tuffly building.
But Mr. J. R. Morris out-did Mr. Van Alstyne, for
he put up a four-story iron-front building, not only
the first of its kind in Houston, but the first ever
erected in Texas. The building was in the middle
of the block on the east side of Main, between Preston
and Congress avenues.
It was not a fire, or disaster of any kind, that
gave Houston its first great hotel. During the
same year that the Van Alstyne and Morris buildings
were erected, Col. Wm. J. Hutchins began the
erection of a large four-story hotel built of brick,
on the historic site of Houston's first hotel. This
was the famous Hutchins House, made famous by
the fact that most of the State associations, societies
and many of the large commercial enterprises had
their inception in its parlors.
To that time and ever since 1887, when the State
Capitol building was erected, which was later the
OTf Capitol Hotel, it had been Houston's chief hotel.
This was a rather commodious frame building,
Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed March 14, 2014.