Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

From the Adams Hotel(s) to the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, Phoenix, Arizona


I visited the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel this past weekend, which is on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Adams, to look around a bit. The place looks great, and there are plans for even more renovation. Even though I describe the building as looking like a "cheese grater", I say it with affection. And the lobby, which includes historical information, looks great, too. I even like the name - The Renaissance.

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But to me, it will always be the Adams Hotel. That was the name it had when it was built in 1975, and what I remember when I worked downtown in the '90s. And it's the third Adams hotel built right there on that spot. Yes, the third one.

The Adams Hotel in the 1890s, northeast corner of Central and Adams, Phoenix, Arizona

The Adams Hotel fire in 1910

The first one was built in 1896, and burned down in 1910. It was quite a place - four stories tall and made mostly of wood. The next one was built in 1911, expanded in the 1920s, and demolished in 1973. The third Adams Hotel, the one that I call "the cheese grater" building, is the one that is there now (image at the top of this post - from the 1970s).

Adams Hotel in 1911, demolished in 1973

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