April 2, 2017 -- El Rancho
The El Rancho opened for business in 1937 and during its heyday, it was one of the premier hotels in the entire Southwest and became THE place for the Hollywood set to stay when filming in the area.
Joe Massaglia constructed the El Rancho Hotel in 1936 along U.S. Route 66 for Mr. R.E. “Griff” Griffith, brother of the famous movie director D.W. Griffith. El Rancho Hotel is a large, rambling, Rustic style building that still feeds the fantasy of the Old West in Gallup, New Mexico. The Griffiths encouraged filmmakers to shoot movies in the Gallup area, and the hotel benefited by having a bevy of stars — including John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck and Humphrey Bogart and many others stay at the hotel during productions up through the 1960s.
The lobby is furnished with heavy, carved, dark wood furniture and has Navajo rugs hanging from the balcony, deer head trophies hanging from the columns, and stamped tin lights. At the rear of the lobby is a spectacular walk-in fireplace cove made of brick and random ashlar stonework. On each side of the massive fireplace, wooden stairways wind their way up to the balcony, which encircles the first floor. The stairs are made of split logs, and the railings are of naturally bent, stripped, and polished tree limbs. Several rooftop patios are lined with photographs of scenes and movie stars from westerns filmed in Gallup.
From 2012-17 Daily Photos