Boxcar Envy and Art at the La Posada Hotel

La Posada Hotel located off Route 66 in Winslow Arizona shrieks Fred Harvey.

So who exactly is Fred Harvey?

Harvey established and ran all hotels and restaurants of the Santa Fe Railway, eventually controlling a hospitality empire that spanned the region. He “civilized the west” through his flawless service to the railroad traveler.

In the 1920s, Harvey decided to build a mega hotel named “La Posada” (Resting Place) in Winslow due to its central location of the Grand Canyon state’s sights and happenings. Harvey chose Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter as the hotel’s architect.

La Posada opened May 15, 1930 and remained open for 27 years. Since its closing, the hotel has been gutted to construct Santa Fe Railway offices. The Spanish style hotel has come close to being demolished several times with the most recent being in 1994.

Famous figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and Howard Hughes have all slumbered at the hotel, with each room named after the famous people who slept there. Here is the impressive list of famous hotel guests.

The upstairs art gallery, named the Tina Mion Museum, showcases huge colorful canvases of oddball artwork. The 3000 square foot gallery opened in 2011 and exhibits a rotating collection of Mion’s work.

Also located inside La Posada is The Turquoise Room restaurant and martini lounge that serves regional contemporary Southwestern cuisine seven days a week.

Before a meal, a waitress who looks and acts the part of a Harvey Girl (white flowing full body apron and impeccable service) brings out house baked butter and mesquite syrup glazed corn bread.

No complaints to report from my order of black bean and cream of corn, Chili cream signature soup and southwest Caesar salad for lunch.

My posse ate on $70 dollar placemats that were for sale and displayed colorful southwestern art of famous Arizona destinations.

The train passed two or three times through the restaurant window and gorgeous antique lighting hung above the clusters of empty wooden dining room tables and chairs.

A group of mostly men armed with cameras gathered in the back of the hotel near the train tracks eager to snap pictures of the graffitied boxcars.

La Posada’s two gift shops were chocked full of regional and historic items, kachinas, textiles, iron and tin works, pottery and an array of informational items about the hotel just to name a few.

All gift shop purchases benefit La Posada’s ongoing restoration efforts.

The hotel offers all the eye candy a guest could ask for so skipping dessert is easy.

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