Filed Under Architecture

San Marcos Hotel

An exemplary example of the "City Beautiful" movement

The San Marcos Hotel remains an architectural crown jewel for the city of Chandler, accurately retaining the original concept of a "City Beautiful".

In 1893, city planning took on a whole new dimension. At the World Columbian Exposition, architect Daniel Burnham advocated for extensive planning of the new cities that were being built throughout the United States. In what he called the "City Beautiful" movement, Burnham advised the country to "make no small plans" regarding city building. The founder of the city of Chandler, and prominent Arizona figure Dr. A. J. Chandler, was one of those who took this advice to heart. Dr. Chandler's community plan was the first in Arizona to distinctly adhere to this idea of the "City Beautiful." Chandler's building designs hint that it may be the only one in which Arthur Benton, the father of the architectural Mission Revival movement, had a direct hand.

Out of all the buildings in Chandler, the San Marcos hotel is the only structure that accurately matches the original concept of Chandler as a "City Beautiful." Built from the ground up as a luxury hotel, the San Marcos also demonstrated a profound shift in the landscape of Arizona tourism. Previously, Phoenix resorts were private affairs, centered around features such as hot springs or a western aesthetic. The San Marcos was open to the public and featured amenities such as golf, horseback riding, and tennis. It eventually became one of the most prominent hotels in the area and one of the crown jewels of the city of Chandler, playing host to celebrities such as Jimmy Stewart, Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford, and many more.

Today, the San Marcos still operates as a luxury resort as part of the Crowne Plaza hotel chain. With an emphasis on its treasured golf courses, the hotel continues to be one of Chandler's most prominent tourist destinations.

Images

San Marcos Hotel- Front View
San Marcos Hotel- Front View The San Marcos was constructed in 1913 by Alexander Chandler, the founder of Chandler, Arizona. Creator: Mark Simonitis Date: July, 2017
San Marcos Hotel- Side View
San Marcos Hotel- Side View The San Marcosis is the only building that was constructed totally within the original planning and aesthetic concept of Chandler as a planned "City Beautiful", a broader city planning movement. Creator: Mark Simonitis Date: July, 2017
San Marcos Hotel- Side View
San Marcos Hotel- Side View Over the years, the San Marcos hosted many distinguished guests such as Fred Astaire, Jimmy Stewart, and Joan Crawford. Creator: Mark Simonitis Date: July, 2017
San Marcos Hotel- Street View
San Marcos Hotel- Street View Chandler sold the hotel sometime during the 1930's. It had several owners over the following decades. Creator: Mark Simonitis Date: July, 2017
San Marcos Hotel- Sign
San Marcos Hotel- Sign Today, the San Marcos is a part of the Crowne Plaza hotel chain and continues to serve as a luxury resort. Creator: Mark Simonitis Date: July, 2017

Metadata

Mark Simonitis, “San Marcos Hotel,” Salt River Stories, accessed May 19, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/283.