Lifestyle

Deep in the “Alps” of Texas: What’s Up in Alpine, Part Two

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A drive down Alpine’s main street, Holland Avenue, will bring you to a sight unexpected in a west Texas town: a four-story Spanish Colonial Revival building. In fact, the historic Holland Hotel in Alpine has moved through several renovations to come full circle. The 27-room hotel now appears as it did when Trost & Trost designed the structure in 1928. The Century Bar and Grill tempts the traveler with a variety of regional cuisine, just off the first-floor courtyard. The Holland rates highly with us as they welcome canines, such as our senior greyhound, Julie. Photos behind the front desk show the rescue animals fostered by the hotel over the years, one of whom sleeps soundly next to the receptionist.

Deep in the "Alps" of Texas: What's Up in Alpine, Part Two

Photo: John Spaulding.

In addition to the ambiance featuring period antiques, you’ll also “hear” history as Amtrak passenger and Union Pacific freight lines pass near the hotel. The Holland has thoughtfully provided earplugs in your guest room, but let yourself enjoy the sounds, unfiltered. Remember that the town grew up because of the train, and then the sound becomes part of the charm of this original whistlestop.

Deep in the "Alps" of Texas: What's Up in Alpine, Part Two

Photo: John Spaulding. The lobby of the Holland Hotel invites one to imagine those who have visited over this building’s 90-year history.

Just a short drive across town, you’ll want to stop at another historic structure. Could it be? To this writer, Kokernot Field, constructed in 1947, appears a scaled-down version of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The 1,200-seat stadium recalls another era, when baseball greats Satchel Paige and Gaylord Perry made appearances. Currently the home of the local Sul Ross University Lobos and the Alpine High School Bucks, the stadium also hosts the Alpine Cowboys of the Pecos League in the summer months.

Deep in the "Alps" of Texas: What's Up in Alpine, Part Two
Photo: John Spaulding. Ornate wrought iron and decorative painted baseballs adorn one of the Kokernot gates.

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