Ambassador Hotel

Merriman Anderson Architects, Inc.
Dallas, TX

Historic Structural Systems Investigation

WJE was retained by Merriman to provide investigation, consultation, and design services for the many different historic structural and waterproofing systems in place at the Ambassador Hotel.


The Ambassador Hotel was located within The Cedars Historic District of downtown Dallas. The hotel was originally constructed in 1905 as a five-story Sullivanesque-style building with red brick and contrasting limestone accents. In 1932, large-scale renovations were performed throughout the building. The brick and limestone exterior was overclad with plaster (stucco) and painted white, and a sixth floor penthouse was added along with a clay tile mansard roof. The building had not undergone other large-scale renovations or alterations since 1932. Repurposing of the hotel began in 2017, but unfortunately, the structure was completely destroyed by a fire in 2019 before repurposing could be completed.


JE performed investigations of all structural systems in place at the Ambassador, including the balloon-framed wood interior load-bearing walls; retrofit steel beam systems from prior removal of load-bearing walls; heavy timber, cast iron, and built-up steel columns; brick and concrete column foundation footings; below-grade multiwythe brick walls and parge coat; direct-applied stucco over brick facade; clay tile mansard roof; and window systems.

WJE drew upon our broad resource base and experience to advise the structural engineer of record on the configuration and condition of the historic structural systems for repurposing analysis and design. As Merriman’s facade and waterproofing consultant, WJE also designed facade improvements, below-grade waterproofing, roofing, and window systems. The WJE team provided drawings and specifications for incorporation into the client’s final construction documents.