The Strater Hotel, opened during Durango's first boom, glories in Victorian excess, starting with its overblown cornice, two-story oriel windows, and hand-carved white sandstone frosting. Henry M. Strater erected the four-story, red brick hotel and four years later constructed the three-story Columbian Hotel (1892) next door. After the crash of 1893 crushed Strater, his two hotels were consolidated. Subsequent owners, the Barker family, have restored and greatly improved the hotel. They have endowed the lobby, dining rooms, meeting rooms, the Diamond Belle Saloon, and the ninety-three guest rooms with antique furnishings, including what they claim is the world's largest collection of American Victorian walnut antiques.
Louis L'Amour, once the world's best-selling western novelist, always asked for