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Downtown Houston's Lancaster Hotel still rebuilding after Harvey

Flood waters destroyed the basement and rapidly rose into the lobby, restaurant, and kitchen. But Houston's Lancaster Hotel hopes to welcome its first new guests by the flood's first anniversary.

HOUSTON — HOUSTON – Houston’s Lancaster Hotel is slowly bouncing back nearly nine months after Harvey.

It hopes to welcome its first new guests by the flood’s first anniversary.

“It’s the oldest continually operating hotel in Houston, since 1926,” said owner Jay Shinn.

Originally built as the Auditorium Hotel, the same family owned it for decades.

Shinn and is siblings bought the hotel just weeks before Harvey hit.

“The purchase was over a year in the making and then here came the flood,” said Shinn.

Flood waters destroyed the basement and rapidly rose into the lobby, restaurant, and kitchen.

“The water came up just above my knee, or around 24 inches in the first floor,” said Shinn.

A KHOU viewer took photos in the area the day of the worst flooding.

The Lancaster staff initially thought the historic hotel might be spared.

“But the water came up from the bayou that Sunday morning and just kept coming in,” said Shinn.

Now, what was supposed to have been a minor refurbishment has turned into a major renovation.

Both the inside and outside will be practically new.

But much of the building’s character will remain.

The hotel shared with us some renderings of what it will look like when it re-opens in late August or early September.

“Several more million dollars that we planned to do when we took over the hotel,” said Shinn. “But it will be beautiful when it’s finished.”

The Lancaster has run into the same problem others have post-Harvey.

That’s finding enough available subcontractors.

Here’s a link to a lot more information about the hotel’s history.