Since I’m off at the RWA convention in San Diego, CA, I thought I’d share a bit of my pre-convention fun—uh, research. Today, I visited “The Del” -- Hotel del Coronado.
Built in 1888, it is one of the few surviving examples of an American Victorian beach resort. When it opened, it was the largest resort hotel in the world. “In November 1885, five investors-- E. S. Babcock, retired railroad executive, Hampton L. Story, of the Story & Clark Piano Company of Chicago; Jacob Gruendike, president of the First National Bank of San Diego; Heber Ingle and Joseph Collett--went together to buy all of Coronado and North Island, approximately 4,000 acres, for $110,000.
The men hired architect James W. Reid, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, to create a grand hotel: "It would be built around a court...a garden of tropical trees, shrubs and flowers,.... From the south end, the foyer should open to Glorietta Bay with verandas for rest and promenade. On the ocean corner, there should be a pavilion tower, and northward along the ocean, a colonnade, terraced in grass to the beach. The dining wing should project at an angle from the southeast corner of the court and be almost detached, to give full value to the view of the ocean, bay and city.The Crown Room was Reid's masterpiece—and it is magnificent. The wooden ceiling was installed with pegs and glue. Not a single nail was used.
I had a wonderful day enjoying the sites and amenities of The Del. If you’re in San Diego, I recommend you make time to see it, too.