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Gateway Hotel Remodeling
El Paso, Texas


Description: Gateway Hotel remodeling
Other Names: Guaranty Trust Building
Address: 400-402 East San Antonio Avenue and South Stanton Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: hotel
Original Client: Gateway Chain Hotels (Charles Bassett) 2014 – Grace Yun and Chang Yoon
Historic Inventory: none
Date: 1927-1928; opening date May 26, 1928 (first of the chain hotel to open)
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Gustavus A. Trost (?)
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: Robert McKee
Dimensions and Orientation: 5-story blocks; faces west; 104 rooms at opening; 1929 reported 110 rooms all with bath
Budget/Cost: $150,000.

Wall Materials: Stone;brick
Roofing Materials:
Other Materials Used:
Remodeling and Additions: in 1935 Rober Washburn the manager of the Gateway stated, “that new improvements would be made in to the hotel.” The plans called to enlarge, remodel and redecorate the lobby.

Present Owner: 2014 Grace Yun and Chang Yoon
Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (G-7) 4 ink on linen drawings dated November, 1927 for remodeling; floor plans and details only.
Location of Documentary Photographs:

Bibliography: (1) El Paso Herald May 26, 1928 –  Page 8 ‘New Gateway Opens Today’
(2) El Paso Herald, December 28, 1928  – page 9
(3) El Paso Evening Post, November 30, 1927 –  page 2 contract ready for remodeling. McKee bid $110,000
(4) El Paso Evening Post, February 9, 1929  – page 32
(5) El Paso Herald, June 8, 1903 – page 2 story on the building of Guaranty Trust
(6) El Paso Evening Post October 2, 1928 –  page 9 ‘Auction of Gateway Hotel’
(7) El Paso Evening Post October 13, 1927  – page 1
(8) El Paso Herald October 23, 1935  – page 1 ‘Gateway To Enlarge Hotel Facilities’
(9) El Paso Herald July 15, 1902 page 5 ‘Foundation Being Put in for the Trust Co’s Building’
(10) El Paso Herald Post March 6, 1940 – page 10 Bolton’s Cafe
(11) El Paso Herald Post September 3, 1938 – page 10 ‘In Business 22 years”
(12) El Paso Evening Post February 9, 1929 – page 30 ‘Gateway Hotel Guests Served at Bolton Cafe”

Remarks: Commission 2730.

The Guaranty Trust Building was  originally an office building with retail space before it was remodeled by Trost & Trost into a hotel. The building was built in 1902 for J.G. Hilzinger president of the International Bank. The building opened June 8, 1903.

Trost & Trost first offices were  located in this building, in Room 318

On October 6, 1928, the building went up for auction. The building was purchased by Charles N. Bassett president of the State National Bank. Mr. Bassett announced the following week the building was going to be converted into a 5 story hotel. The estimate cost $110,000.

Work for the remodeling started sometime in December. The cotton buyers who occupied offices in this building first needed to complete their season before construction could begin. The plan was to have the hotel open by April 1, 1928.

The main hotel entrance was to be on Stanton street with other entrances for the Union Drug and Bolton’s cafe. The idea was instead of having a fancy lobby, that the money would be put into decorating the hotel rooms. The lobby was decorated in a red color scheme, with Spanish leather.

The hotel contained 110 rooms all with baths. Each floor of the hotel was finished in a different color scheme. The first floor dominant tone was gold; the second floor rose. the third floor blue and the fourth floor green. The color scheme was also carried out in the decor of the room. The furnishings in the room were the best hotel grade. The furniture was duo-tone, a combination of natural wood an colors. Extra heavy carpets were installed throughout. Door mirrors were provided in every room. Each room was comfortable and furnished with a bed, several large easy chairs, beautifully upholstered dresser, telephone stand and writing desk.

The Bolton cafe was located just off the main lobby.

L.J. Reynold, electrician; H. Welsch & Co. sheet metal work; C.H. Williams painting; H.E. Russell, plastering; H.F. Olsen Supply Co., builder’s hardware and the Elliott Engineer Co. The hotel was furnished by the Roger Furniture Company, Popular Dry Good Company, and the White House.

The hotel was used in the 2004 film “Glory Road and the 1972 movie, ” The Getaway.” The hotel was also visited by Pancho Villa.

On March 10, 2014, the hotel was closed by the fire marshal. The 42 residents who lived there were forced to move out. The Trustees of the Building & Standards Commission on March 26, allowed the owners  more time to secure the building.

The hotel was the site of human smuggling activities and gambling by the owner Song U Chon. Who was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy, money laundering and lying to the IRS.

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990