One of the most legendary hotels in Phoenix, the Westward Ho Hotel has been one of the city’s defining landmarks for nearly a century. As with many other hotels in the Phoenix area, the Westward Ho was constructed in response to the tourism boom of the 1920’s. The automobile had made its way into the hands of the average American and Phoenix beckoned as an ideal tourist destination. However, even in the multitude of blossoming hotels, it was plain to see that the Westward Ho would be something special. The building permit of $1,200,000 was the largest for any project in Phoenix history up to that time and at one point in 1926, the construction job was equal to about half the building activity in Phoenix.
Though the initial work was completed in 1928, the building wasn’t truly finished quite yet. In the fall of 1940, the Westward Ho received its iconic radio tower and antenna, used to broadcast programs from Arizona’s very first television station. Even when the station relocated, the hotel held onto the antenna, as it had already achieved landmark status.
Though it may be surrounded by skyscrapers today, the antenna brought the Westward Ho to a staggering five-hundred foot height, making it the tallest building in Phoenix for a time. Over the decades, several different owners set up shop within the bowels of the Westward Ho, sheltering guests until it was officially closed to the public in the 1980’s. The new owners then converted the hotel into an assisted living facility, a new home for the elderly and the disabled.