The development of Southern California has been intrinsically linked to the arrival of the automobile. Surrounded by mountains, the ocean and the Mexican border, transportation was a vital element in the area’s evolution from scenic countryside to bustling metropolis. In 1911, Charles Wesley Grise established the “Limited San Diego and Imperial Valley Stage”, a touring car that transported passengers between the two locations. Later known as the “Pickwick Stages,” the company grew into one of the three major stage lines in the United States and erected hotels across the country. With most of its lines operating around San Diego, the Pickwick Company erected a downtown hotel and terminal in 1926. The Gothic Revival building was designed by master architect Wilber Peugh and many original elements such as the crenellated roofline and terra cotta and plaster embellishments remain intact today.