This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Watching the Adams Hotel burn down in 1910, Phoenix, Arizona


The important thing is that no one got hurt in the fire. It's 1910, and we're watching the Adams Hotel burn to the ground. Stand behind the blanket with me, you can feel the heat way over here. Luckily, the fire is contained, and isn't spreading over to Dwight Heard's building there across the street. I don't suppose that the buildings on Melinda's Alley, just north of it, will be so lucky!


Looking northeast from the Adams Hotel towards Camelback Mountain over Melinda's Alley before the fire, Phoenix, Arizona.

It was quite a place, and Phoenix will never be the same. I'm sure that old George Luhrs would argue the point, but I'd say that it was the finest hotel in town.

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

Still, it was made of wood. And whether you blame the electrical wires strung all over the place, or old-timers putting out their cigars on the floor, at some point it seemed like it was going to burn. I hear that nowadays buildings like this can be made of poured concrete, that's probably what they'll build the next one out of. You know, to make it fireproof.

Newspaper article from 1910 about the Adams Hotel fire

The day after the fire at the Adams Hotel, Central Avenue and Adams, Phoenix, Arizona.

Nothing is left the next morning but the parts made of brick. I imagine that the bricks will be salvaged and used in other buildings. What a shame, it was such a beautiful building. I'm looking forward to seeing them get started on the new one!

Note: A new Adams Hotel was built in 1911, and it was made of poured concrete, which made it absolutely fireproof. It lasted until it was demolished in 1973, and a third Adams Hotel was built on the same spot, the building that is still there today, called the Phoenix Renaissance Downtown.


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