The Historic Gadsden Hotel
The Gadsden Hotel was designed by famed architect Henry Trost who dominated the architectural scene in the Southwest and designed hundreds of buildings in El Paso, San Angelo, Albuquerque, Phoenix and Tucson. This grand hotel was named after the historically significant Gadsden Purchase; A purchase of 30,000 square miles from Mexico made in 1853 for 10 million dollars, negotiated by James Gadsden, who was then the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. The land purchase was to ensure territorial rights for a practical southern railroad route to the pacific coast.
The Gadsden opened for business in November 1907; the hotel soon became a meeting place for cattlemen, ranchers, miners, and businessmen. We can now only imagine how Arizona was before it was a state and at a time when Wyatt Earp, Geronimo and Pancho Villa rode roughshod over the West.
Unfortunately, on February 7th 1928, fire ripped through the hotel leaving nothing but the elevator car cabin, the marble staircase, and marble columns. Luckily, like much of Arizona’s old west figures and culture, it was just too tough to die. The hotel was immediately rebuilt using the same architect but on a grander scale with no expense spared.
At the time, not many hotels of the day could boast about having an electric lift to reach one of its 4 floors. Travelers were amazed at the modern accommodations and to this day the lift is one of the oldest manually operated elevators still in use west of the Mississippi. The hotel was also one of the first to feature individual bathrooms in all 160 air cooled rooms.
Now in the museum is the original 1929 telephone switchboard; reportedly the first of its kind to be used in Arizona.
Reservations at the Gadsden
Rooms and suites are available on our Mezzanine level. These classically sized rooms are trimmed with modern design, while keeping a classic feel. If you are looking for an extra special stay, check out our master suite complete with a jacuzzi for maximum relaxation.