“john dillinger slept here!”
The Hotel Congress is a federally-recognized historic building located in downtown Tucson. It was built in 1918 and designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm William and Alexander Curlett as part of an expansion of congress street and in conjunction with the theatrical venue Rialto Theatre, which sits north of Congress street. The rear of the building faces the historic Amtrak Southern Pacific train station, built by Southern Pacific in 1907. In addition to being a hotel, the Hotel Congress building also houses a restaurant, bar and music venue. The Hotel Congress and its owners Richard Oseran and Shana Oseran have been a key cultural institution and boosters in the early 21st Century redevelopment of Downtown Tucson. The Hotel is known for being the site of the capture of gangster and bank robber John Dillinger in 1934. After a series of bank robberies, the Dillinger Gang arrived in Tucson to hide out. On January 22, 1934, a fire started in the basement and spread up to the third floor, where the gang resided under aliases. After the desk clerk contacted them through the switchboard the gang escaped by aerial ladders. On the request of the gang, two firemen retrieved their luggage, identifying who they were. After being transferred to a jail in Crown Point, Indiana, Dillinger escaped again and was eventually shot down in Chicago, Illinois. The Hotel Congress building was added to the National Historic Register in 2003. The Hotel Congress received a Fodor's Choice distinction in 2006 and again in 2008. According to the National Registration listing, Alexander and William Curlett, Curlett and Son Architects of Los Angeles were the actual designers/architects. A newspaper article from the Arizona Daily Star, dated April 23, 1920, reported: "A. E. Carlette (Curlett), architect of Los Angeles, was a visitor in Tucson yesterday stopping at the Santa Rita. Mr Carlette (Curlett) was the designer of the new Rialto Theatre and the Congress Hotel." In early 1934 a fire destroyed the upper floor of the hotel, while John Dillinger and his gang were hiding out. Roy Place, local Tucson architect, rebuilt the upper floor in the same style as the original. An historic plaque on the south entrance of the hotel bears Place's name so it is often believed to be of his original design.
Good place to watch a band, very intimate. Saw Electric Guest here.
The place is cool and very convenient for guests!
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- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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