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Hotel San Carlos

    Hotel San Carlos
 in Phoenix


A small, one room adobe school house was built in 1874 upon the lands of where Native Americans were reported to have worshipped the God of Learning. In 1879, a larger two-story brick building with four rooms and a bell tower was built. In 1893, the school expanded again and this time, there were sixteen rooms and this building served the children of Phoenix for the next 25 years.

The schoolhouse became condemned after it was outgrown in 1916. City officials cleared the area for the development of a luxury hotel. 1927 finally saw the plans come to fruition when Charles Harris purchased the hotel site and began construction. The plans were designed by nationally known architects G. Witecross Ritchie of Los Angeles. The total cost of the hotel was $850,000.

The Italian Renaissance style building formally opened on March 20, 1928 as the most modernhotel in the entire Southwest United States. It was the first air-conditioned, high-rise hotel in Phoenix and the first high rise with hand-operated elevators in the state.

During the mid-twentieth century, the hotel continued to be a hub for the Phoenix elite, political, social, as well as a destination for Hollywood stars. Mae West, Clark Gable and Carole Lombarde, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Harry James, and Kay Starr all spent time at the Hotel San Carlos.

In 1974, it was recognized as a State Historic landmark and its been in continuous operation since its opening. In 2003, Hotel San Carlos underwent a multi-million dollar renovation that modernized its amenities, but preserved its historic fabric.

Hotel San Carlos, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 1991, dates back to 1886.

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