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.