Historic Sites, Grand Canyon State Park, Arizona
El Tovar Hotel
The El Tovar Hotel, also known simply as El Tovar, is a former Harvey House hotel situated directly on the south rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. The hotel was designed by Charles Whittlesey, Chief Architect for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway and was opened in 1905 as one of a chain of hotels and restaurants owned and operated by the Fred Harvey Company in conjunction with the Santa Fe railway.
The hotel, which had been under design since at least 1902, was built the next year and opened in January 1905. The Grand Canyon Game Preserve was established by Roosevelt's executive order in 1906, expanding protections granted by President Benjamin Harrison in 1893. The Grand Canyon National Monument was proclaimed in 1908, and Grand Canyon National Park was finally established by Congress in 1916.
The Santa Fe Railway initially planned for a relatively small hotel, but increased the size in view of increasing traffic to the Grand Canyon. The site was an area of 20 acres (8.1 ha) granted by the U.S. Government for use as a train terminal. The design was carried out by the railroad's architect Charles Whittlesey, of Topeka, Kansas and was projected to cost $250,000 to build. Rejecting an initial plan to call it the "Bright Angel Tavern", the tradition of using Spanish names for Harvey hotels was continued for the new hotel.
The El Tovar was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 6, 1974.