Boulder Dam Hotel
The Boulder Dam Hotel is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. The hotel was built to accommodate official visitors and tourists during the building of Boulder Dam, now Hoover Dam, in 1933. The Hoover Dam Museum is located on the first floor of the Hotel. Famous guests of the Hotel include Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr; Will Rogers, who was performing on stage at the Boulder Theatre; the Maharajah and Maharani of Indore, India; Cardinal Pascelli, who later became Pope Pius XII, the Duchess of Westminster; George Pepperdine, founder of Pepperdine University; Henry Fonda; Boris Karloff; Shirley Temple; and Howard Hughes, who recuperated at the hotel after wrecking his airplane on Lake Mead.
Backstory and Context
P.K. Webb purchased it from W.F. Grey in 1935 for his tourist agency. Webb advertised heavily, turning the hotel into a destination resort.
Built in the Colonial Revival style, echoing Mount Vernon, the Hotel design is unusual for Boulder City. Exterior walls are concrete block rising to gable roofs. A two-story, full length porch with paneled square columnns covers the main facade, topped by a pediment.
During the 1930s, the Boulder Dam Hotel became a huge draw for people visiting Boulder Dam. The Hotel also became popular with movie stars who needed to establish Nevada residency so they could obtain a quick divorce.
Some of the famous guests who stayed at the Hotel include: A.P. Gianni, founder of Bank of America, Bette Davis, who stayed at the hotel while on vacation following the filming Of Human Bondage, honeymooners Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., Will Rogers, who was performing on stage at the Boulder Theatre, the Maharajah and Maharani of Indore, India, Cardinal Pascelli, who later became Pope Pius XII, the Duchess of Westminster, George Pepperdine, founder of Pepperdine University; Henry Fonda, Boris Karloff, Senator Robert Taft, Shirley Temple, and Howard Hughes, who recuperated at the hotel after wrecking his airplane on Lake Mead.
In 2005, the Hotel was acquired by the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association to restore its central place in the cultural life of Boulder City. The Hoover Dam Museum is located on the Hotel's first floor, sharing the history of the men and women who built Hoover Dam and settled Boulder City during the Great Depression. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Boulder Dam Hotel. Society of Architectural Historians Archipedia. . Accessed March 15, 2018. http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/NV-01-SO43. SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012
Boulder Dam Hotel. National Park Service Digital Asset Management System. . Accessed March 15, 2018. https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/05d38b09-4e0a-4403-9da5-af937ec0b509.
History of Boulder Dam Hotel. Boulder Dam Hotel. . Accessed March 15, 2018. http://www.boulderdamhotel.com/en-us/history.
Boulder City / Hoover Dam Museum. Boulder City Museum and Historical Association. . Accessed March 15, 2018. https://www.bchdmuseum.org/.