Places

15 Incredible Texas Buildings That Were Abandoned

In June, CNN Money postulated that Texas has the best state economy in the nation. More people moved to Texas in the past year than any other state in the country, and the heart of Texas is alive and thriving.

However, not every city is feeling economic growth, and even within living cities you will still find areas of decay. Some areas have fallen into disrepair simply from no longer having the population to sustain maintenance. Some abandoned Texas buildings have been deserted due to financial corruption, and some areas have just been left alone because of the terribly sad stories they hold.

Every state has abandoned places. Here are 15 places that have been left abandoned in Texas.

The Rig Theatre in Premont, Texas

Image via Cinematreasures.org
Image via Cinematreasures.org

This movie theatre in Premont, Texas has sat empty on Main Street since 1980. The theatre opened in 1950 and had 500 seats to accommodate the small South Texas town.

Patient Buildings at Terrell State Hospital in Terrell, Texas

1317678526_9fb87b298a_b
Flickr/Margaret

1317677222_6fc6cf2c08_b

While the Terrell State Hospital is still a functioning mental health facility, there are several buildings that used to house patients that have now been deserted. The hospital has been embroiled in several scandals over the years, most recently that psychiatrists at the hospital took hundreds of thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical companies to promote certain drugs.

Toya High School in Toya, Texas

Flickr/Nicolas Henderson
Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

The once bustling streets of Toya Texas have become silent as the town sits vacant. The 2000 census recorded around 100 residents, and that number has clearly dwindled in the ensuing years. The town sits on I-20 in West Texas and most of the rest of it is in a similar state of disrepair.

Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas

Flickr/Shangrliaista
Flickr/Shangrliaista
Wikipedia/Renelibrary
Wikipedia/Renelibrary
Flickr/Binomialphoto
Flickr/Binomialphoto

Opened in 1929, the lavish Baker Hotel housed visitors of the North Texas town of Mineral Wells, famous for its mineral waters and their purported restorative powers. In 1967, the hotel’s founder, Theodore Baker, died of a heart attack in the Baker Suite. The hotel closed for good five years later. Recently there has been word that the hotel may be restored.

Walnut Ridge Mansion in Gonzales, Texas

Flickr/David Ingram
Flickr/David Ingram
Flickr/David Ingram
Flickr/David Ingram

This imposing edifice in Gonzales, Texas was designed by Texan architect J. Riely Gordon for James Francis Miller in 1901. Miller was a United States Representative from Texas from 1883-1886.

School Auditorium in Premont, Texas

Flickr/Nitram242
Flickr/Nitram242
Flickr/Nitram242
Flickr/Nitram242

This auditorium once sat adjacent to the abandoned Premont Primary School which was closed down over a decade ago due to the presence of the flame retardant asbestos. Repairs would have been too costly so the school simply shut down.

Stewart Mansion in Galveston, Texas

Image via Forgotten by the World
Image via Forgotten by the World
Image via Forgotten by the World
Image via Forgotten by the World

Commissioned by George Sealy Jr. in 1926, the abandoned relic now known as the Stewart Mansion was purchased by Marco Stewart in 1944. The mansion is filled with murals of the pirates who once terrorized the Gulf of Mexico, and in fact, there is a Texas historical marker on the grounds that states the land on which the residence rests was once the headquarters of the famous pirate Jean Lafitte. The property was purchased earlier this year and the new owners have plans to restore the mansion as a community center, and turn the surrounding acreage into a luxury housing development.

Tundra Village in San Antonio

Image via Reddit
Image via Reddit

It was greed and deceit that brought down this once beautiful housing development in San Antonio. Developer Mauro Padilla is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for his role in the bank fraud that it took to build Tundra Village.

Padilla used funds for the housing development to pay for a mansion for himself, fund his son’s wedding and to finance his brother’s car dealership. According to the San Antonio Express News, Padilla allegedly employed undocumented workers to keep costs low, and rather than paying them, he threatened to turn them in to Immigration Services.

Hearne-Gidden House in Kosse, Texas

Flickr/Carol Von Cannon
Flickr/Carol Von Cannon
Image via Old House Kosse
Image via Old House Kosse

The residence now known as the Hearne-Gidden House in Kosse, Texas started out as a salt box style home on a cotton farm in 1873. The house was remodeled in its current Victorian style in 1894, and has had several owners in its lifetime. Its last resident left in the 1960’s, and it stood vacant until 1989 when it was purchased with the intention of restoring it. Even the best intentions sometimes fail, however, and the house was once again abandoned until 2014 when it was sold to the Kosse Heritage Society, who is currently restoring the house.

Bexar County Juvenile Home for Boys

Youtube/Lemaclt
Youtube/Lemaclt
Image via The Russell Rush Haunted Tour
Image via The Russell Rush Haunted Tour

Though images of this property have often been circulated as the old Southwestern Insane Asylum (now known as the San Antonio State Hospital), the facility was actually the old Bexar County Juvenile Home for Boys. Built in 1915, the home was abandoned in 1990 due to the presence of asbestos. The current facility sits next door to this abandoned property.

The Chief Drive-in in Quanah, Texas

Flickr/JoshBerglund19
Flickr/JoshBerglund19
Flickr/JoshBerglund19
Flickr/JoshBerglund19
Flickr/JoshBerglund19
Flickr/JoshBerglund19

In North Texas in a small town named for the famous Comanche chief Quanah Parker, there sits an abandoned drive-in movie theatre. Opened in 1955, the Chief drive-in operated until about 1987 when it finally closed for the last time.

Cleo General Store in Cleo, Texas

Flickr/MLHRadio
Flickr/MLHRadio
Flickr/MLHRadio
Flickr/MLHRadio

There is little left of the small town that once was Cleo, Texas. The town was founded in 1880 by Texas pioneer Raleigh Gentry. Not far outside of Junction, Texas on Farm Road 2291, the settlement of Cleo didn’t last for long before it was abandoned, only to be resettled again in 1915, and abandoned once more in 1974.

Jim Durnal’s Standard Station in Pecos, Texas

Flickr/Randy Heinitz
Flickr/Randy Heinitz

Opened in the early 1940’s by a prominent El Paso mechanic, Jim Durnal’s Standard Station serviced automobiles in Pecos, Texas for years before being abandoned with an old Pontiac still in the parking lot.

The Hotel Ozona in Ozona, Texas

Panoramio/Shiree Schade
Panoramio/Shiree Schade
Flickr/Cherie Benoit
Flickr/Cherie Benoit

Still bearing a sign advertising “refrigerated air”, the abandoned Hotel Ozona in Ozona, Texas no longer features such a luxury. Located out I-10 southwest of San Angelo, Ozona has newer hotels for its guests these days, but the old relic still stands as a reminder of the small town’s past.

The Branch Davidian Swimming Pool in Waco, Texas

Flickr/Hans Watson
Flickr/Hans Watson

This haunting concrete structure is all that is left of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. In 1993, the compound underwent a 51-day standoff with the FBI after its leader, David Koresh, was suspected of amassing an arsenal of weaponry. The standoff came to a tragic end when 76 members of the Branch Davidian sect were killed in a firefight with authorities and the whole compound burned, save this concrete swimming pool.

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15 Incredible Texas Buildings That Were Abandoned