Williams Historic Business District

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Williams Historic Business District
Looking west from 1st Street, down Route 66, Williams, AZ
Williams Historic Business District is located in Arizona
Williams Historic Business District
Williams Historic Business District is located in the United States
Williams Historic Business District
LocationRoughly bounded by Grant and Railroad Aves., and 1st and 4th Sts., Williams, Arizona
Coordinates35°15′02″N 112°11′18″W / 35.2505°N 112.18839°W / 35.2505; -112.18839Coordinates: 35°15′02″N 112°11′18″W / 35.2505°N 112.18839°W / 35.2505; -112.18839
Area25 acres (10 ha)
Built1890 (1890)
Architectural styleRomanesque, Victorian Commercial
NRHP reference No.84000436[1]
Added to NRHPDecember 20, 1984

The Williams Historic Business District is significant for its long time close association with the American development of tourism, which in turn became a principal local industry. The reasons for this were that the District straddled the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (now the Southwest Chief) and U.S. Highway 66, two significant national transportation arteries, as well as being at the southern terminus of both rail and highway links to the Grand Canyon. The District is also historically significant because of the role it played in the cycles of opening of the frontier west, from ranching to railroading and lumbering.

The Urban Route 66, Williams was listed on the National Register of Historic places May 19, 1989.

The Williams Historic Business District is architecturally significant because it contains within its boundaries an important selection of late 19th and early 20th Century vernacular architecture.

All of the buildings are two-story or less; most are single-story. Several of the buildings constitute examples of a particular architectural style: the Fray Marcos Hotel with its Renaissance Revival characteristics; the Cabinet Saloon and the Pollock Building made of native dacite as examples of Romanesque Revival, and the Tetzlaff Building, a yellow brick interpretation of Victorian Romanesque.

The boundaries of the District form an irregular area generally bounded by 4th St. on the west, 1st street on east, Grant Ave. on the south, and the Fray Marcos Hotel on the north. It lies in the center of the City of Williams and also includes the businesses associated with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; U.S. Route 66 runs down the center of the District as Bill Williams Avenue.[1]

Notable buildings[edit]

Name Year Built Architectural Style Comments
Fray Marcos Hotel
Fray Marcos Hotel, 235 N. Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, AZ
1908 Renaissance Revival The Fray Marcos Hotel is one of the most historically significant

buildings in the District because of its long term status as a "Harvey House" and its association with the Santa Fe Railway Co. on its main east-west line to California. It also served the passenger railway business during its heyday when the Grand Canyon was a prime attraction and travel was by rail. Its initial construction began in 1901 when a small curio shop was erected. It was added to for the next 20 years producing one of the few good examples of Renaissance Revival buildings in Arizona[1]

Babbitt-Polson Warehouse
Babbitt-Polson Warehouse, NW of Visitors Center, Williams, AZ
Late 1890s Grain, coal and hardware delivered by Santa Fe Railroad stored here[2]
Rock Building
Rock Building, 326 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
Babbitt-Polson Building
Babbitt-Polson Building, 314 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1907 Only Art Deco style building in Historic District[1] Originally five smaller buildings combined and covered with stucco; housed grocery, hardware, department stores and bakery[2]
Bennett's Auto
Bennett's Auto, 239 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1930's Modern Style Gas station during heyday of Route 66 when gas sold for $0.16/gallon[2]
The Postal Telegraph Co.
The Postal Telegraph Co., 239 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1910[2] Operated until 1940's
Unknown named original building
Unknown Building, 229 Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1910[2]
Rittenhouse Haberdashery
Rittenhouse Haberdashery, 225 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1910 Was a men's clothing store for 60+ years[2]
Grand Canyon Drug Company
Grand Canyon Drug Company, 221 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1912 Pharmacy and soda fountain in front, doctor's office in rear[2]
Old Parlor Pool Hall
Old Parlor Pool Hall, 217 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1910[2]
Lebsch Confectiionery
Lebesch Confectionery, 213 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1914[2]
Dime Store
Dime Store, 209 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1912[2]
Duffy Brother's Grocery
Duffy Brother's Grocery Store, 201 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1912 Originally a bank, mostly grocery store, also a dime store. Original tin ceiling[2]
Citizens Bank
Citizen Bank, 202 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1918 Neoclassical revival Financial center of lumber, ranching, and railroad operations; closed in 1958[2]
Sultana Theatre
Sultana Theatre, 301 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1912 Saloon, billiard hall, silent movie theatre; liquor and gambling during prohibition; first "talkie" in Northern Arizona shown in 1930[2]
Pollock Building
Pollock Building, 104 N. 3rd Street, Williams, AZ
First floor constructed after 1901 fire; 2nd floor 1927 "Rusticated" Romanesque Revival Originally bank, has been newspaper, telephone/telegraph office. Constructed of locally quarried dacite; 2nd story brick[2]
Grand Canyon Hotel
Grand Canyon Hotel, 145 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1912 Victorian Commercial style Has survived several fires; the ground floor has served as a drug store, grocery store, dance hall, curio shop, and a meeting hall for Knights of Pythias Lodge[2]
Unknown originally named building
Unknown Named Building, 135 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
Old Post Office
Old Post Office, 132 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca 1907[2]
General Store
General Store, 129 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
Adams Grocery
Adams Grocery, 125 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
ca. 1907[2]
Bowden Building
Bowden Building, 114 W. Route 66, Williams, AZ
1947 Flagstones quarried from "Flagstone Capital of the World", 18 miles west of Williams; built during the post-WWII migration to California[2]
Whiskey Alley Saloon
Whiskey Alley Saloon, 109 W. Railroad Ave., Williams, AZ
ca. 1910 Victorian Commercial style One of the oldest buildings along Railroad Ave.; originally two stories, with top floor a hotel; In the 1920s was known as the "Maggie Torrez Mexican Food Restaurant."[1][2]
Tetzlaff Building
Tetzlaff Building, 137 W. Railroad Ave., Williams, Az
ca, 1897 Victorian Romanesque Originally a saloon and bordello; 8 rooms for prostitutes, had an elegant parlor, and a 2-story outhouse. Had whisky, pool, and poker tables on ground floor. Chinese restaurant, opium den at the back of the building. Its brick construction credited with stopping fires in 1901 and 1903 that burned down "Saloon Row", or this stretch of Railroad Ave[2]
The Cabinet Saloon
The Cabinet Saloon, 141 W. Railroad Ave., Williams, Az
ca. 1893 Romanesque Revival style One of the oldest buildings in Williams; advertised as "Leading Sporting Resort in Williams"; survived several fires due to stone construction; was used as a bar scene in the 1988 movie Midnight Run[2]
Red Cross Garage
Red Cross Garage, 221 W. Railroad Ave., Williams, Az
ca. 1913 Served travelers—both wagons and cars; the opposite end of the building was a bowling alley[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Historic Walking Tour With Map (Map). Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce Publication.