1886: The Hotel del Coronado was founded by Elisha Babcock and Hampton Story, Jr., with the help of Alonzo Horton.
1886: Babcock and Story held a land auction to develop Coronado. They sold 350 lots for a total of $6,000. Today the median home price is $1.5 million.
1886: Architect James Reid created the intial design. It's hard to recognize without the signature red and white colors!
1887: A crowd gathered to see the groundbreaking. The hotel cost $600,000 to build.
1887: Eight months after ground was broken, the hotel's exterior was taking shape. Crews trucked the furniture from the ferry landing down Orange Ave.
1888: The hotel officially opened to the public. Room rates were $2.50 per day, including meals.
Here's a look at the lobby in 1888. The hotel was one of the largest buildings in the country with electricity. It supplied power to the city of Coronado. The hotel had other technological advancements like a sprinkler system and telephone service.
This photo shows the hotel's Crown Room. Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum is credited with designing the chandeliers. It's still a local favorite for its fabulous brunch. https://hoteldel.com/restaurant-coronado/crown-room/
1891: President Benjamin Harrison (in the tall hat) had breakfast at the hotel. He was the first sitting president to visit San Diego and praised our climate.
1892: Hotel guest Kate Morgan checked in under an assumed name. She was later found dead on a staircase leading to the beach, possibly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The hotel says Morgan tends to occupy her former guest room in the form of unusual breezes and a television that turns on and off by itself. The hotel published a book, "Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado".
1900: The hotel opened Tent City, a cheaper option for Coronado visitors. It had restaurants, a grocery store, a shooting gallery and its own police department.
1904: The hotel featured the world's first electrically lit outdoor Christmas tree. Thousands of visitors flock to the hotel for the holidays every year to see the spectacular decorations.
1915: President William Taft stayed at the hotel for the 1915 Panama-California expedition.
1927: Charles Lindbergh was honored at the hotel after his trans-atlantic flight from New York to France. Lindbergh's plane "The Spirit of St. Louis" was built in San Diego. Some 10,000 people attended the celebration in the Crown Room.
1958: The production of "Some Like It Hot" brought rising stars Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis to the hotel. Although the hotel's exterior was prominently featured, the interior scenes were not filmed on location.
1970: President Nixon held the first state dinner outside of the White House at the hotel. The guest of honor was Mexican president Gustavo Diaz Ordaz. Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, attended, along with Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.
1977: The Hotel del Coronado was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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