Scenic USA - Arizona

Hopi House

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Hopi House - Grand Canyon Village, Arizona

Photos by Bob Golman
Inset photos courtesy NPS

   The Grand Canyon, called the "Big Ditch" by park rangers, is easily recognized throughout the world as one of the seven wonders. Bright Angel Lodge - South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Among some of the first national parks in America, Grand Canyon National Park is also famous for its "park-itecture." Located in the Grand Canyon Village, the Hopi House was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1905. Often considered as the official architect of the Grand Canyon, Mary Colter also designed five additional structures in the park, Desert View Watchtower - South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona including the Bright Angel Lodge, Hermit's Rest, Phantom Ranch, Lookout Studio and the Watchtower at Desert View. Colter's use of natural materials blended well with the Grand Canyon's desert landscape and became her unique signature design.
   Eleven of Colter's buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Five of Colter's designs, including the Hopi House, have earned the designation of National Historic Landmarks. Patterned after traditional Hopi structures found in the region, the Hopi House was constructed by Hopi craftsmen. Open since 1905, the three-story gift shop is located by the El Tovar Hotel on the Grand Canyon's South Rim. A pueblo style building, the historic store features Native American art and handcrafted items. Originally, artisans lived on the top floor, creating Navajo rugs, woven baskets, pottery, ceremonial costumes, Lookout Studio - South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona masks and kachina dolls. Today the Hopi House looks much the same as it did 100 years ago, with minor changes such as the addition of windows and wood floors.
   The Grand Canyon became the most important stop for the Santa Fe Railway, with the El Tovar Hotel and the four story Hopi House managed by the Fred Harvey Company. Here, guests enjoyed the comforts of home with the sight of the majestic South Rim at their feet. The Harvey Company was the only firm to own concessions at the Grand Canyon. And Mary Colter continued on as Fred Harvey's chief architect and interior designer.

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