Friday, October 2, 2009

FRIDAY SHOOTOUT

The theme this week is A Photo Study of a Building. It just so happened to coincide with a little jaunt we took to Tucson, and the fact that we stayed overnight in a very old hotel, Hotel Congress.


It's located in the heart of the downtown area. As you can tell by the crane, the whole area has been going through some renovation.

This hotel was built in 1919 to serve the cattle industry and weary railroad travelers. Part of its notariety comes from a fire that started in the basement in 1934, that led to the arrest of the John Dillanger gang, who had been living there under several aliases.

The rooms are sparse, much like they would have been in the early days of the hotel. There are no televisions in any of the 40 rooms, only vintage radios.

Here's a bit of the architecture inside...



This old switchboard is still being used today.




Oh, did I mention the ghosts? Hehehe....

27 comments:

septembermom said...

Thanks for the tour. Love vintage places like this one. The switchboard and telephones are great.

Janice said...

Dang it! Now I'm going to have to move to Tucson just so I can get a job working that switchboard!!

GingerV said...

In all the times I have lived in and traveled through Arizona I have never been in downtown Tucson. don't you find that weird? what a great place. I love the idea on no TVs. In Prescott there is a hotel with restaurant that has a feel of the old bars, the smell of liquer and smoke, and musty attic that really old buildings have. And Jerome, the times I spent with my father in the old bars - he - well you can imagine - and me even in my early teens loving the old spaces. I thank you for the moment to enjoy this old Hotel and remember other times.

verf word + HANES! hummm

Barry said...

Now you've really got me excited. What an amazing place. I loved the old telephones in the rooms and the phone booth in the lobby. The period decorations and wonderful.

Too bad the Dillinger Gang never got to completely enjoy their stay!

Its photo shoots like this that make the Friday Shootouts so much fun.

Sarah Lulu said...

What a fabulous old building! I love the switchboard.

I did a hotel I was staying in too.

Doreen said...

what a cool place to stay. love that switchboard. have a great weekend!!

Dawn said...

What a step back in time! It's neat that they only have the radios. I bet not to many kids are happy staying there!

I thougt of you today when I went to the new Kohls dept. store that just opened here. It took the place of Merrvyn's after they closed down. Anyway, they have a whole set of very colorful dishes that look like a fish. It reminded me of your fish avatar. I know they are opening a bunch of stores across the country so maybe you can check it out.

Hugs,
Dawn

Mary said...

Thanks for the time travel.

~JarieLyn~ said...

This really is an amazing building. I love the overhang eaves outside. I've never heard of a hotel room with no tv. What a concept. The indoor decor is very funky and wild. Some of it looks retro, groovy and other parts look vintage. It's an ecclectic hotel. I love it. The switchboard and the old telephone booths are fantastic. Your photos are great. I love that you posted this building and the history on it is very interesting.

Scriptor Senex said...

Gosh - it's like a little time capsule. I especially loved the telephone booth; it took me back to a conversation I had in one in a hotel in Leeds in 1971. (The unusual thing being the person I was talking to was in the booth with me - very cosy!)

Linda said...

This hotel had a heyday for sure. Wow. What an amazing treasure to find under the Tuscan sun. These are very expressive photos. You have captured the essence of the historical building. Thank you for sharing.

Gordon said...

Amazing! At first I thought there were quilts hanging on the walls, with all of the color. Great choice.

GB said...

I can identify with Scriptor's comment because in the days before cell-phones and conference calls if we went on holiday we crammed into the cosiness of a phone box to ring home.

The hotel looks to have bags of character too.

Kerry said...

We always look for old places like this to stay! They hardly exist anymore. But this one is just great; you have captured it so well with your photos. (The phone booths and switch board are amazing, and the spare furnishings, too) Thanks!

tricia said...

Loved this post! Tucson is one of my favorite places. Beautiful old hotel. Thanks for showing us around.

Pam said...

Oh, I want to stay there!

Pauline said...

Wow! That was a flashback for me. I worked in a telephone exchange identical to that in the mid 80s. It served the whole district, I think there were only about 140 lines but each line had up to seven different numbers. We lived at 33U, the party line ring was short, short, long. Love the phone booths too.

J9 said...

I love old hotels, and ghosts would be cool!

Rebecca said...

It is like stepping back in time.

Jen said...

Shabby girl, you have the coolest places around!

These photos are amazing, I agree with Rebecca, it is like stepping back in time.

I love learning all the history too.
:)

NanU said...

That is Great! A hotel with no tv's (too much 'congress' going on, I suppose...)!
THanks for the neat tour.

Denise said...

cool shots - so retro!

GigiSxm said...

interesting decor

Ellisa said...

what a fun throwback!!

if they have no TV, I should assume they also don't have wireless.

Chef E said...

Oh I am so excited, I stayed there once while in the area! Our room was rather small, but we love staying in historical places such as this! You brought back memories, and now I am wondering where the photos from that trip are, LOL...and I as a chef, I saw your yummy tortilla soup recipe...hmmm I am borrowing that one! Robert Earl Keen, Tortilla soup and historical hotels...we have a lot in common!

Carrie said...

Wow...love the phone booths and switchboard! A former switchboard operator has told me some great stories about her job...I'm grateful for private lines!

Suzi-k said...

oh my word, that place is a treasure, so glad some smart designer hasn't come along and "modernised"it... thanks for sharing!

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