Few of the nearly five million people who visit Grand Canyon National Park every year are aware of Mary Colter and her accomplishments. No wonder she’s been called “the best-known unknown architect in the national parks.”
Historical hotels, people and things in hospitality
Just a hundred years ago, two architectural jewels opened at the Grand Canyon, the 95-room El Tovar Hotel and the Hopi House Indian Arts Building. Both reflect the foresight of Fred Harvey (1835-1901), an immigrant from England.
Hotel owner Dan W. James did not rest on past accomplishments. In 1959, a swimming pool was added to the north side of the hotel, and one year later he built the Four Seasons Lounge next to the pool.
The Skirvin Hilton Hotel is Oklahoma City’s oldest hotel. It was built by William Balser Skirvin, a native of Michigan who made his fortune in Texas land development and oil. In 1906, Skirvin and his family (including his daughter Pearl who would later become Perle Mesta, ambassador to Luxemborg and a famous Washington hostess) moved to Oklahoma City. Skirvin hired Solomon Andrew Layton, an American architect who designed over 100 public buildings in the Oklahoma City area including the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Opened on February 18, 1925 with 440 guestrooms. It is known as the “Grande Dame of Washington”, the “Hotel of Presidents” and as the city’s “Second Best Address” (the White House is the first).
In the September 1912 issue of American Homes & Gardens, futurist Harold D. Eberlein presented his predictions of the impact of air travel on American cities.
Historic Hotels Worldwide announced its 2018 finalists for its historic hotels and hoteliers awards. Hotel historian Stan Turkel explains why more travelers want to book such historic sites.
First opened in 1908, then expanded in 1925 and again in the 1960s, the Jung Hotel was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Weiss, Dreyfous & Seiferth. It had once been known as the largest convention hotel in the South. It was called the Jung for more than 75 years and, later it was known as the Clarion, Radisson, Braniff Place, Grand and Park Plaza.
The hotel business has seen many fine promoters and salesmen but perhaps none as creative as Ralph Hitz. His two favorite expressions “Contact the hell out of ‘em” and “Give ‘em walue and you get wolume”, spoken in his thick Viennese accent, were a key to his philosophy of business. And it worked.
For over a century, dreamers, farmers, investors, and even a Prussian Count have held a vision of the magnificence in store for the Colorado Springs area.