Pack a Bag: Hotel Congress, Part I

The sixth night of our cross country road trip brought my husband and me to Tucson, Arizona, specifically the Hotel Congress. The Hotel Congress is not only listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but is also a Historic Hotel of America. It was nominated for two of the categories of the Historic Hotels of America 2018 Awards of Excellence: Sustainability Champion and Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year for the Oseran family, the third owners of the property, who were instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Tucson.

The Applicable National Register Criteria for this property is both the first, or A, and the third, or C. The former being Property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history and the latter being Property embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction or represents the work of a master, or possesses high artistic values, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components lack individual distinction.

The Congress Realty Company, the ownership team, leveraged the selected parcel as it was close to the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. The National Register application interprets this to tie into criteria A, as the site selection influenced the urban planning, design, and development of Tucson.

Contributing to criteria C, the Hotel Congress was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style by William Curlett and Sons Architects in 1919. A 1934 fire by the Dillinger Gang damaged a portion of the third floor which was never rebuilt, effectively eliminating twenty guest rooms.

In addition to the historic designations of Hotel Congress, the street for which it is named was selected as one of the American Planning Association’s fifteen Great Places in 2017 in the Streets category.

Sincerest thanks to Hotel Congress for sponsoring our stay.

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