Prague, Czech Republic
A hot-pink confection of Bohemian Neo-Renaissance style, the Hotel Opera stands in the less touristy Nové Město, or “New Town,” quarter of storied Prague.
The New Windsor Hotel is really only new in name. Located on the corner of 6th Avenue and Adams Street, it is the oldest lodging in the city. Originally opened in 1893, the building has evolved from a two-story brick Victorian into a retro, neon-clad Moderne structure.
After the Civil War, the U.S. government expanded railroads and the West erupted into a land grab — at the expense of Native American tribal lands — as pioneers, outlaws, immigrants, and freed African Americans strived to find a new life in the lands beyond the Mississippi.
The city of Phoenix emerged as a center for commerce, and businessman A.D. Walsh built the 6th Avenue Hotel. It was the largest in the Arizona territory and quickly established itself as the preeminent destination for those looking to settle in Phoenix. Influenced by Gothic architecture, the original building resembled a dollhouse with opulent trim and a bright color palette.
Thirty years later, the hotel was renamed the Windsor Hotel. In 1935, the building was remodeled to add a third story with a stucco facade and an overall modern look to update the Victorian aesthetic. In the 1950s after more additions, the structure was renamed once again as the New Windsor Hotel.
In the 1930s, the Hotel attracted heat-weary guests with an innovative new technology: Air Conditioning. On the Hotel’s exterior, the words “air cooled” can still be seen. In 1985, the New Windsor was added to the National Register of Historic Places. As the only operating 19th century hotel in Phoenix, the Hotel now serves as single room occupancy housing for mostly elderly male residents.
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