February 27, 2017 -- Painted Desert Inn
Painted Desert Inn is a lodge complex in the Petrified Forest National Park, in eastern Arizona. It is located off old U.S. 66 and Interstate 40, overlooking the Painted Desert.
Now, this national historic landmark functions only as a museum, with no overnight accommodation and food service. Displays inside highlight the building's history, Route 66, and the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are also restored murals by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie.
The original part of this building was built in 1920 by local homesteader, Herbert Lore. He first called it Stone Tree House because so much petrified wood was used in its construction. In 1924, he registered it as a business and claimed property under the Homestead Act. For almost twelve years, Lore operated the Inn as a tourist attraction. Visitors could eat meals in the lunchroom, purchase Native American arts and crafts, and enjoy a cool drink in the downstairs taproom. Rooms were available for $2-4 dollars per night. Lore also gave 2-hour motor car tours through the Black Forest in the Painted Desert below. it was without electrical connections, so an onsite lighting-plant was built to supply electricity. Water was hauled from Adamana, ten miles south on the Puerco River. In 1936, the Painted Desert Inn and other sections of land owned by Herbert Lore were purchased by Petrified Forest National Monument.
From designs by National Park Service architect Lyle E. Bennett, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) spent three years (1937-1940) constructing a sizeable addition along with remodel of the original structure. In 1940, the inn opened under the management of the Fred Harvey Company, and for two years, the inn offered Route 66 travelers food, souvenirs, and lodging, and local people with event and meeting space. It closed in 1942, as American involvement with World War II shifted resources away from domestic programs. The Harvey company resumed continuous operations here from 1947 thru 1963.
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