El Garces Hotel

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El Garces
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Depot
El Garces Hotel 4 12 2009.JPG
El Garces Hotel under reconstruction, April 12, 2009.
El Garces Hotel is located in California
El Garces Hotel
El Garces Hotel is located in the US
El Garces Hotel
Location950 Front St., Needles, California
Coordinates34°50′27″N 114°36′20″W / 34.84083°N 114.60556°W / 34.84083; -114.60556Coordinates: 34°50′27″N 114°36′20″W / 34.84083°N 114.60556°W / 34.84083; -114.60556
ArchitectWilson, Francis W.
Architectural styleClassical Revival
NRHP reference #02000537 [1]
Added to NRHPMay 17, 2002

El Garces was the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Depot with a hotel and restaurant in Needles, California. After extensive renovations, it reopened as the El Garces intermodal transportation facility in 2014. Built by the Santa Fe Railroad under contract with the Fred Harvey Company in 1908, the hotel was designed in an elegant Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts style and was considered "the Crown Jewel" of the entire Fred Harvey chain. This early Harvey House was designed by architect Francis W. Wilson.

The hotel was named in honor of Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés, an explorer in 1774 with Juan Bautista de Anza and the legendary De Anza expedition. The hotel's restaurant was staffed by the famous Harvey Girls, young women who worked for the Fred Harvey Company. The El Garces Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 17, 2002.

El Garces hotel and restaurant closed in 1949.[2] Historic U.S. Route 66 went by the hotel from the 1920s through the 1960s. The Santa Fe railroad station was used by Amtrak until it closed in 1988. Restoration and reconstruction of the historic El Garces began on March 7, 2007.[3] Allen Affeldt, owner of the historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona, intended to buy the station, opening an upscale hotel and restaurant, but abandoned that plan after a 2009 audit; the Federal Transit Administration determined that, because it had granted $4.8 million in public funding for construction, ownership has to remain with the city.[4] City redevelopment of the intermodal transportation facility continued (without the proposed Needles Chamber of Commerce, hotel, and restaurant).[5][6] The El Garces intermodal transportation facility renovation project was completed in 2014.[7]

El Garces Hotel, undergoing restoration in 2007
The hotel was later on historic U.S. Route 66
Historic train parked near El Garces Hotel. The hotel can be seen in the background.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Historic El Garces Harvey House and RR Depot". Needles, CA, USA: East Mojave Historic Route 66 Association. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  3. ^ "El Garces Hotel". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009.
  4. ^ What’s happening with El Garces?, updated July 19, 2011.
  5. ^ JENNIFER DENEVAN Needles Desert Star. "Mohave Daily News: Needles Desert Star". Thedesertstar.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  6. ^ "About Needles". Cityofneedles.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  7. ^ Denevan, Jennifer (May 1, 2014). "Needles to cut the ribbon on renovated El Garces intermodal facility". Mohave Daily News.

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