311 E Congress St

Hotel Congress (1/29)

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Hotel Congress…311 E. Congress Street

Hotel Congress opened its doors to travelers and guests in 1919. Los Angeles based William Curlett + Son, Architects, designed and built the hotel along with the Rialto Theater located across the street. On January 22, 1934, a fire destroyed the upper floor of the hotel where John Dillinger and his gang were hiding out. This lead to the only capture of John Dillinger, “Public Enemy Number One”, an event reenacted every January for a most appreciative audience. As the story goes, the Dillinger gang escaped the fire, via the fire escape, only to make the error of requesting assistance with their luggage from the firemen on the scene. One of the firemen recognized the gang, resulting in their capture. Following the fire, Roy Place, a local Tucson architect, rebuilt the third floor consistent with the original Mission/Spanish revival style although the renovation included 40 rooms, not 80.  The “HOTEL CONGRESS” sign above the building is a beloved Tucson icon. The steel-framed open roof structure was added following the remodel between 1935 and 1940. Today Hotel Congress is the centerpiece of downtown’s east end.

Walk west from Maynards Market to the train depot.