08 July 2007
The Last of the Great Railroad Hotels Pt. 2
1929 was a tumultuous time in American history to say the least, the stock market crash, the depression, etc;however, the plans for a grand Santa Fe Railroad Hotel at its headquarters in Northern Arizona had already been laid down. More suprisingly than building a place of grandeur during these times was hiring a woman architect to design and oversee its creation.
Fred Harvey had already built a chain of 'Harvey Houses' across America and introduced such things as china, linen, crystal and silverware to the American Southwest. He chose Mary Colter who had already designed several buildings in the southwest for his chain of hotels, including Hopi House and The Watchtower at the Grand Canyon.
The La Posada in Winslow Arizona was her masterpiece. She designed the plans to build it as well as every detail of its interior including the staff clothing. Not much of the original interior remains today but the reproductions are impressive. It is an amazing hotel. I highly recommend taking a stop to visit it if you are ever travelling along I-40 in Northern Arizona.
This is the Turquoise Dining Room. A 'must see' in person. And yes...dinner is STILL served in it.
Next post: The Roswell Incident.