Monday, December 21, 2009

Where Summer Spends the Winter

Dr. Alexander “A.J.” Chandler founded the city of Chandler, AZ in 1912. He established a canal company to bring irrigation to the area and envisioned a town formed under the “City Beautiful” movement, which emphasized the placement of parks surrounded by monumental public buildings.

The showpiece of Dr. Chandler’s “City Beautiful” was the magnificent Hotel San Marcos, which he envisioned as a great desert winter resort.

Soon after opening in 1913, the San Marcos quickly established a reputation as one of the most luxurious resorts in the country, billed as the place “where the summer spends the winter.”

The hotel recently completed several renovations to the exterior, and the main part of the hotel has been repainted. As we walked around the Hotel's courtyard, we could not imagine it looking more elegant and inviting than it does today.

The lobby was renovated as well. The sign on the piano asks visitors not to play the historic piano.

The main courtyard was also relandscaped.

Dr. Chandler named the Hotel after Fray Marcos De Niza, the Franciscan friar believed to have been the first European to explore the Salt River Valley.

No longer the Hotel San Marcos, the name is now the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort to emphasize its status as the first golf resort in Arizona when construction was completed.

Chandler, Arizona's booming growth (from 30,000 in 1980 to nearly 250,000 today) has enabled owners of downtown storefronts to restore their businesses to a modern version of their original turn-of-the-century look.

Near the San Marcos was this housing unit. I liked the colors and architecture of this grouping and just wanted to add this photo to today's entry.

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