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Plaza Hotel (El Paso Hilton Hotel)

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1930, Trost and Trost; 2019 renovated, In Situ Architecture. 106 Mills Ave.

Designed and built for Conrad Hilton, the eighth in his expanding Texan hotel empire, the slender, nineteen-story, concrete-framed structure, El Paso’s tallest building until the 1970s, supports an eclectic mix of materials and ornament. The three-story base, clad in terra-cotta, is ornamented with two-story fluted pilasters with modernistic caps. Second-story spandrel panels feature low-relief Art Deco sunbursts, ram’s horns, and blossoms. Colored terra-cotta roundels between third-floor windows display symbols relating to El Paso’s history. Above the base, the dark red tapestry brick-faced slab is without ornament except for pairs of fluted pilasters that rise to the parapet to form small pavilions framing the pyramid-roofed, three-story central tower. Nearly invisible from street level, low relief ornament at the tower includes starbursts and coiled fern buds.

As the Great Depression deepened, Hilton’s El Paso hotel was the only property for which he retained ownership, and he moved his headquarters here while rebuilding his business in the late 1930s. The hotel remained part of Hilton’s operations until 1963; it closed in the 1990s. Businessman Paul Foster acquired the Plaza in 2008 and gutted the interiors in 2012 with plans to develop a hotel on lower floors and condos above; renovation began in 2018.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Plaza Hotel (El Paso Hilton Hotel)", [El Paso, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 480-480.

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