Ash Fork: “Escalante” Hotel
Kingman: Santa Fe Eating House
Seligman: “Havasu” Hotel
Petrified Forest National Park: Painted Desert Inn
Phoenix: Union Station News Stand and “Green Gables” Restaurant
Williams: “Fray Marcos” Hotel
Winslow: Old Santa Fe Hotel & “La Posada” Hotel
Arizona photo archives: University of Arizona Fred Harvey Collection
To have duplicated the angle on this one would have required looking right into the late afternoon sun, plus it would have been too far away to see anything, including the platform, so the modern photo is closer and looking more westward. The chimney on the left near the Santa Fe water tower is the only surviving structure from the hotel. It was from a boiler room on the south side of the Escalante’s courtyard. The NE corner of the hotel was approximately where the tall trees are in the foreground. The depot end of the Escalante ended near the distant BNSF office to the west. This site is immediately west of the Ash Fork Library on Lewis Avenue at 5th Street. The library's fence is seen to the left.
“The Hotel opened March 1, 1907 and was built of steel and concrete in the Mission Style of Spanish architecture. The hotel covered a space of 420' X 200'. Cost was approximately $115,000.
“On the ground floor of the structure was the lunch room fitted with a circular counter, a large curio shop, newsstand/reading room, and a barber shop. There was also a beautiful chrystal chandelier lighted dining room which was somewhat centered within the hotel. The east side of the hotel hosted beautiful gardens.
“Ash Fork was an important railroad junction at that time. Passengers and freight bound for central and southern Arizona boarded trains at the famed Hotel Escalante. Alas, the beautiful hotel was torn down in the '70's. The effort to prevent such a loss failed but will never be forgotten.”
—Ash Fork Historical Society plaque on a monument just east of the library
This postcard view is taken from an elevated position, showing the top of the boiler chimney in the back. The photo may have been taken from an old metal water tank on the north side of the tracks. The existing tank is just slightly east of the hotel site and might give this particular angle barely showing the eastern side of the Escalante. I decided to include a view from the opposite direction from the postcard and show something different, instead of another shot into the sun. It was taken from next to the old Santa Fe building on the western side of the site and shows the concrete slabs, tracks and water tank. The NE corner of the hotel, the one in the foreground of the postcard, was near where the distant trees are, center right.
There are some concrete slab remains where the Escalante was, though it is not clear what was what. The chimney is out of view to the left at about 9:30 o’clock. There is a flagstone company down around the BNSF building. [Ash Fork calls itself “The Flagstone Capital of the World.”] The railroad building is old, but I do not know what it was during the time the Escalante was in existance. The hotel and depot were one building.
I highly recommend the Ash Fork Route 66 Museum, which has a couple original light figures plus a large, fantastic model of the Escalante. Photos of these can be seen on their website.
The Santa Fe Eating House was on the SW corner of 4th Street and what is now Andy Devine Avenue [Route 66], north of the tracks. The Santa Fe depot is a separate building just to the east across 4th Street. It still exists and is awaiting restoration, according to the posted sign.
Begun in 1937 on the site of the earlier Stone Tree house, the Painted Desert Inn opened for business in July of 1940. Construction was carried out by Civilian Conservation Corps labor. Inn operations were shut down during World War II but started up again in 1946. After updates by Mary Jane Colter, the Fred Harvey Company, which operated concessions for the Santa Fe Railway, took over the operation of the Inn and ran it until 1963. Demolition was proposed in the mid-1970s, but after public protests the building was reopened for limited use in 1976. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The old Inn buildings were extensively rehabilitated, and reopened in 2006 as a museum and bookstore. [From the National Park Service and Wikipedia]
There was a Fred Harvey news stand at the Phoenix Union Station. The station is located just SW of downtown Phoenix, south of West Jackson Street between South 3rd and South 5th Avenues. The actual address is 401 South 4th Avenue.
The Mission Revival station, a joint venture between the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads, was designed by architect Peter Kiewit and dedicated on September 30, 1923. [From Wikipedia]
The waiting area arches of the foreground arcade have been filled in, except for the far three to the right of the central entrance. This is fortunate, because it allows a view confirming the survival of the large news stand, which is recessed back in the shadows of the last three arches at the SE corner of the central two-story pavilion.
The property appears to be currently utilized by Sprint. The whole area is surrounded by a barbed wire fence and is filled with technical equipment. Amtrak stopped service there in 1996, but a sign remains on the street side.
In the old postcard, the news stand with some magazines hanging above the window can be very faintly seen in the shadows of the far right archway. My modern photo was taken from a different angle because of the microwave tower blocking the same view. The surviving blue-painted news stand can be recognized within the right archway.
For period views of the large corner news stand, and of the station when it was smaller, see the University of Arizona's Collection.
Fred Harvey matchbook from the “Green Gables” Restaurant
Green Gables Office Complex looking west, 2011
I have not found a postcard of the “Green Gables” Restaurant. The matchcover locates it at East Thomas Road and North 24th Street. The building still exists on the SW corner of the intersection. It serves as the front centerpiece of a much larger Green Gables Office Complex located at 2345 East Thomas Road. I do not know what occupies the restaurant building now.
“Robert Gosnell, Sr., who had come to Arizona in 1919, had worked his way up from a job as a bank teller to become a land owner and developer. In 1940, he designed and actually helped in the construction of a restaurant he called Green Gables. To add a bit of flair to the structure, he added stones which he had brought down from Northern Arizona to give the building the look of a medieval castle.
“Although it took awhile, the restaurant became quite popular. Gosnell began adding more elements to create a very special ambiance for weekend patrons, including my jaw-dropping site of a fully armor-clad medieval knight, atop a white stallion, standing at the entrance to the parking area of the eatery on the south side of Thomas Road. The mounted knight would motion to the driver of an arriving vehicle to follow him to place the vehicle in a specific parking space.” [From Examiner.com Phoenix]
The building also has nice stained glass windows in a diamond pattern with a “G/G” coat of arms in the center. I have not found anything specific about the Fred Harvey era of this restaurant, other than the matchbooks. Perhaps he continued the tradition of the medieval equestrian parking attendant, as a knight on a white horse was shown on the matchcover.
This unique Santa Fe Hotel has since been torn down by the BNSF in May of 2008, despite interest in its restoration.
Williams is located on historic Route 66 and is known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon.” The former Fray Marcos Santa Fe Hotel is on the north side of the tracks and Williams is on the south side. The eastern colonnaded wing in the foreground was the depot end of the structure. Today the building is the home of the Grand Canyon Railway. There is a large, modern Grand Canyon Railway Hotel built behind the historic station with some of the same design details used from the original.
The 1908 Williams depot was home to a Harvey House Hotel, which had 43 rooms. There was also a formal dining room as well as a cafe, bar and a news room. The depot is the oldest poured-concrete structure in the state of Arizona. [From the Grand Canyon Railway’s Historic Train Depots]
The two little balconies are gone, but other than that the exterior of the building looks the same.
Fray Marcos lobby and stairway looking towards Indian Building
Railway Office stairway looking towards Gift Shop, 2011
Both these views are looking the same direction, ENE, from the hotel side towards the depot end of the building. The “Indian Building” was originally in the room visible beyond. The main entrance into the old hotel is now the entrance to the Railway Offices. The stairway has been redone in a different arangement. Looking at the number of ceiling beams from the far wall and their relative thicknesses, the initial three steps and first landing of the staircase have apparently been moved further away to the other side of the second landing, which seems to be in the same place, though probably also rebuilt. There is a large concrete support column on this side of the second landing where one of the tall, non-structural wooden posts used to be. The design of the handrails looks very similar, though I do not know if they are original. The current arrangement has a central banister going up to the first landing. There is a doorway straight ahead from the first set of steps, unseen behind the concrete post. It must going to the same place as the little side hallway seen past the stairs in the old postcard.
Going straight ahead through the double doors at the far end of the postcard [out of view to the right in the modern view]...
...puts you in the “Indian Building,” which is not a separate building at all, just the next room to the east. [This unusual term is used at other Harvey Hotels, like the Escalante, which were really just a different room.] The room serves its original purpose —to give people a chance to buy souveniers of their visit— though the overall appearance of the room is a lot less classy and a lot more cluttered, also the rustic fireplace isn't as much of a focal point. The fireplace is on the north wall.
There was an earlier Santa Fe Hotel in Winslow. It was across the tracks to the south. La Posada is on the north side.
In the 1920s, Fred Harvey decided to build a major hotel in the center of northern Arizona. “La Posada” —the Resting Place— was to be the finest in the Southwest. Construction costs alone exceeded $1 million in 1929. They chose Winslow, then (as now) the Arizona headquarters for the Santa Fe Railway. Winslow was ideally situated for a resort hotel since everything to see and do in northern Arizona is a comfortable day’s drive. They asked Colter to design the new hotel.
Although famous for her magnificent buildings at the Grand Canyon, she considered La Posada her masterpiece. Here she was able to design or select everything from the structures to the landscape, furniture, maids’ costumes, and dinner china.
Mary Colter always began designing her buildings by creating a rich fantasy about their history. She envisioned La Posada as the grand hacienda of a wealthy Spanish landowner, whose family lived here for 120 years, occasionally expanding the hotel until it finally resembled the structure we see today. This fantasy guided every aspect of her architectural design. [From the La Posada Hotel]