Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1977, is one of the relatively few Victorian-era beachfront hotels to have eluded both catastrophic fire and the wrecking ball. Until a recent restoration project, however, its gracious south-facing veranda hadn’t fared so well.
A series of 20th-century renovations had expanded the Coronado, California, building’s adjacent interior spaces, first bumping the veranda outward from its original position and eventually annexing it entirely. When restoration began in 2018, “the south wall was about 30 feet further south than it was in 1888,” says architect David Marshall of Heritage Architecture & Planning. “And there was no veranda at all; it was all enclosed space.”
Restoring the 1888 floor plan was impractical, Marshall says, so the project (shown at top) split the difference, reclaiming half of the previously annexed space and faithfully replicating the original veranda 15 feet to the south of its original location.
The veranda roof masks the offset between the first-floor wall and those above, Marshall adds, and backing up the wooden guardrail with an unobtrusive glass panel obviated the need to modify the original design to meet code.
The original women’s billiards room—most recently used as office space and a check-in area—was converted to a new, larger check-in area, with a white oak counter and marble top that follow details from the 1888 design. Crowning the project was the restoration or replication of 25 stained-glass windows original to the building, only four of which had survived.
About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.