Filed Under Tourism

The New Windsor Hotel

A Nineteenth-Century Building Still Shines Bright

The New Windsor Hotel has undergone several iterations since it was built in 1893. Once the largest hotel in Phoenix, over the decades it has fallen into disuse and disrepair. It's still standing, however, and is the only nineteenth-century building that remains downtown.

The City of Phoenix was incorporated in 1881 and became the territorial capital of Arizona in 1889. In the twelfth United States Census of 1890, the city of Phoenix had 3,152 residents. The burgeoning railroad system revolutionized the economy of the American West, bringing trade and tourists. The increase in travel meant increased demand for hotels, and Phoenix was more than happy to accommodate.

The 6th Avenue Hotel, as the Hotel Windsor was originally called, was built by A.D. Walsh in 1893 at the corner of 6th and Adams Street. It was initially a two-story Victorian building, which changed its name to the Hotel Windsor in 1925. By that time, the population of Phoenix had risen to 29,053 residents. It was the largest hotel in Phoenix, boasting forty rooms at the time. The 1930s brought more growth, visitors, and competition, like the newly built Westward Ho. In just ten years, Phoenix's population rose by sixty-five percent. In order to keep up with their competitors, a stucco and brick third story was subsequently added to the building.

The hotel was remodeled in the 1950s and given another name change: it became the New Windsor Hotel. While it remains the only operating nineteenth-century hotel in Phoenix, it doesn't have the same draw as it did in its heydey. Today, the clientele are often older men who rent the austere rooms on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis. The New Windsor Hotel remains one of the only single-room-occupancy, or SRO, hotels in Phoenix.

While the hotel's interior doesn't have as many visitors as it did in the twentieth century, the outside still sees its fair share of tourists. Its Art Deco facade and colorful neon sign are the perfect backdrops for an Instagram selfie: as of 2022, it's been tagged 386 times on the social photo-sharing platform. The hotel has also developed a cult following of Wes Anderson fans, who look for locations reminiscent of the filmmaker's distinctive style.

Images

A Wes Anderson Vibe
A Wes Anderson Vibe Fans of filmmaker Wes Anderson are attracted to the Hotel New Windsor's brightly colored facade and neon lights, using the hashtag #wesandersonplanet when taking photos of the building. Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1Lu63OAt_k/?epik=dj0yJnU9RUVjTU1OWjZ5VDhCNHM1WE0zWHhERlJadEYweWFZdkYmcD0wJm49WVNYdDNLbndXQjd6X3RBUzktck9yUSZ0PUFBQUFBR05IS2tB Creator: Paul Fuentes Date: August 15, 2019
The New Windsor Hotel
The New Windsor Hotel The New Windsor Hotel started to deteriorate in the 1980s. Source: Phoenix Historic Preservation Office Date: 1985
Advertising the 6th Avenue Hotel
Advertising the 6th Avenue Hotel Newspaper advertisement in the Arizona Republican newspaper advertising the Sixth Avenue Hotel Source: Douglas C. Towne,https://dtphx.org/2020/06/11/like-moths-to-neon-light-the-new-windsor-hotel-continues-to-captivate-after-123-years/ Creator: The Arizona Republican Date: 1895
Windsor Hotel advertisment
Windsor Hotel advertisment Windsor Hotel advertisement in the "Arizona Republican" Source: Douglas C. Towne, https://dtphx.org/2020/06/11/like-moths-to-neon-light-the-new-windsor-hotel-continues-to-captivate-after-123-years/ Creator: Arizona Republican Date: 1937
Lobby of the New Windsor Hotel
Lobby of the New Windsor Hotel The lobby of the hotel as it looks today. Source: The Clio Creator: Mike Emett Date: July 21, 2015
The Neon Glow of the New Windsor Hotel
The Neon Glow of the New Windsor Hotel Today the New Windsor Hotel gets visitors to the outside of the building, if not the inside. The neon lights and brightly colored stucco facade have become a popular backdrop for Instagram photos. Source: https://dtphx.org/2020/06/11/like-moths-to-neon-light-the-new-windsor-hotel-continues-to-captivate-after-123-years/ Creator: Danny Upshaw Date: 2020
Present Day New Hotel Windsor
Present Day New Hotel Windsor The hotel, viewed in 2020. Source: https://dtphx.org/2020/06/11/like-moths-to-neon-light-the-new-windsor-hotel-continues-to-captivate-after-123-years/ Creator: Douglas C. Towne Date: 2020

Documents

NameInfoActions
Arizona State Historic Propertypdf / 8.44 MBDownload

Metadata

Jennifer Schaper, “The New Windsor Hotel,” Salt River Stories, accessed July 21, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/447.