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'The Mother Of Houston' To Be Remembered With New High-End Hotel In Allen Center

Houston Hotel
A rendering of C. Baldwin hotel in Downtown Houston

Hold on — a lavish eruption is headed to Downtown Houston.  

C. Baldwin, a high-end, independent hotel backed by the ownership group of the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Downtown, will anchor the renovated Allen Center.

Inspired by "The Mother of Houston," Charlotte Baldwin Allen, who used her inheritance to fund the city in the early 1830s, the hotel is scheduled to debut in summer 2019. 

In addition to 354 luxurious guest rooms and common areas, C. Baldwin will feature a signature restaurant, also to be named after Allen, a high-end nail salon, curated local retailers, green space and 14K SF of meeting and event space. Houston-based Rottet Studio's Lauren Rottet and ROHR Creative's Kate Rohrer will handle the design. 

The Allen Center has undergone a multiphase, multimillion-dollar improvement. Phase 1, including a new 1-acre green space, an updated lobby for One Allen Center and an updated skybridge between One and Two Allen Center, was unveiled in fall 2017. Other phases include attracting new retail and restaurant tenants and upgrading the building and amenity offerings.   

A rendering of a C. Baldwin hotel room

“Houston has some excellent hotels, but none that are emblematic of the city it has somewhat discreetly become, which is to say a bootstrapping economic powerhouse and global hub that just happens to be wildly diverse, wonderfully eccentric and exceedingly cosmopolitan,” C. Baldwin General Manager Maggie Rosa said in a release.

“We felt it was high time to introduce a hospitality experience that would truly embody one of our country’s most evolving destinations while honoring an awe-inspiring female pioneer.”

The Woman Behind The Men 

Baldwin Allen had a major influence in the foundation of Houston, but her story has been overshadowed by her husband, Augustus Chapman Allen. 

A.C. Allen and his brother John Kirby Allen officially co-founded Houston. The trio arrived by steamboat on Buffalo Bayou in 1836, just a few blocks from present-day Allen Center. The Allen brothers paid $5K for a half league of land near the bayou.

The funds came from Baldwin Allen's inheritance, but women couldn't own land at the time, according to the Texas State Historical Association.  

Little of history pays homage to Baldwin Allen's legacy, except for an elementary school and a Buffalo Bayou steamer bearing her name and a Texas Historical Marker in Glenwood Cemetery. 

History may have remembered her differently if Baldwin Allen would have named the new establishment Charlottesville — a suggestion made by her friend Sam Houston — rather than Houston. 

Regardless, Baldwin Allen played a major role in the development of the city even after her husband fell ill and relocated to Mexico. She became the primary financial driver of the city's construction industry, funded the Navy and constructed the short-lived capital of the Republic of Texas.  

She passed away in 1895 at the age of 91. 

"Charlotte, at long last, will be recognized as what former Houston First Lady Andrea White calls 'the kick-ass woman' who paved the way for a long tradition of trailblazing women leaving a permanent mark on the third coast," the release stated.