El Paisano Hotel

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El Paisano Hotel
Entry to El Paisano Hotel, Marfa, TX.jpg
El Paisano Hotel is located in Texas
El Paisano Hotel
Location 207 N Highland
Marfa, Texas
Coordinates 30°18′44″N 104°1′19″W / 30.31222°N 104.02194°W / 30.31222; -104.02194Coordinates: 30°18′44″N 104°1′19″W / 30.31222°N 104.02194°W / 30.31222; -104.02194
Built 1930
Governing body Joe and Lanna Duncan
NRHP Reference # 78002973[1]
Added to NRHP August 1, 1978

El Paisano Hotel [2] is a historic hotel located in Marfa, Texas, United States. The hotel was designed by Trost & Trost and opened in 1930. The hotel may be best known as the location headquarters for the cast and crew of the film Giant (1956) for six weeks in the summer of 1955[3] The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 1, 1978.

The El Paisano Hotel was built by Charles N. Bassett of El Paso. It was designed by Henry C. Trost of Trost & Trost of El Paso, Texas in a Spanish Revival style. The hotel is a "U" shape plan with a fifty by fifty foot courtyard with a large fountain in the center.[4]

The main customers of the El Paisano during the 1930s and 1940s were area cattle ranchers who came to Marfa to buy and sell their herds, and tourists who came to West Texas for the benefits of the dry desert air.[3]

In 1955, George Stevens and a Warner Bros film crew came to Presidio County to film Giant. The El Paisano Hotel served as base of operations for the months during which time the film was being shot in the surrounding countryside. Stevens stayed at the El Paisano Hotel as did the 300 plus members of the cast and crew who included: James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, Chill Wills, and Jane Withers among others.

The hotel began to go into decline in the 1960s and 1970s. El Paisano Properties Corp. bought the property in the late 1970s and converted the hotel's 65 rooms into 9 timeshare condominiums. Although 800 timeshare units were sold, the owners eventually abandoned the business and Presidio County foreclosed on the property for back taxes. Joe and Lanna Duncan purchased the property at auction for $185,000 in March 2001.[3] After three years of renovations, the hotel reopened with 33 rooms and suites available for the public.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15. 
  2. ^ The Hotel Paisano
  3. ^ a b c Carmack, Liz. Historic Hotels of Texas, Texas A&M University Press: College Station, Texas, 2007. pp 39-42.
  4. ^ "El Paisano Hotel" Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Retrieved Dec 26, 2008.