Address: Hotel, 101 S El Paso St, El Paso
Date: Exactly 1912
Historic Uses: Hotel
Stylistic Influences: Beaux Arts Classicism
National Register of Historic Places: Individually Eligible, Contributing to a District
Previous Designations: National Register Listed (Indiv.), Local District
Paso del Norte Hotel
Designed by noted architecture firm Trost & Trost in 1912, the ten-story Hotel Paso Del Norte was engineered to be fireproof and was modeled after buildings that had survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The materials used were selected to ensure the hotel would be the most sturdily constructed building in El Paso at that time and for many years to come. Steel and concrete of an earthquake proof foundation provided the frame for the ten-story building. Built as two projecting wings and the main block, the building exhibits Sullivanesque division into three parts - base, shaft, and cornice. It has red brick walls and white terra cotta trim. The second story cornice is composed of consoles with garlands, lion-head escutcheons, and cornice caps. Of special note is the Louis Comfort Tiffany 25-foot-diameter stained glass dome. Constructed between 1910 and 1912, the Hotel Paso Del Norte survives as one of the most elegant hotels in the Trans-Pecos region of western Texas.
The architecture of the hotel is typical of much of the 'oeuvre' of the designing firm of Trost & Trost. It has been suggested that Henry Trost sought to synthesize many prevalent turn-of-the-century architectural concepts with other contemporary 19th and early 20th century architectural genres. If this is so, then the hotel may be understood as one of the better examples of this effort. The finely cast Chicago School terra cotta work around the entablature is masterfully combined with numerous allusions of the Beaux Arts style, both of which are amalgamated within the context of a modern reinforced concrete and brick commercial 'high rise.'
This brick and terra cotta structure as the 'dream hotel' of early El Paso businessman and promoter Zach White. White came to town in 1881 and recognized El Paso's great potential as a gateway to Mexico. He worked hard to help the city realize that potential by building the Santa Fe International Bridge and an early streetcar line, as well as introducing electric street lights and natural gas.
The Hotel Paso Del Norte is notable for its location on a site of importance in the early history of El Paso; its association with one of the early pioneers of El Paso, Zach T. White; and the outstanding art glass Tiffany dome in the interior lobby. The hotel is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL #2573) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NR #79002933).
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