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Agreement Reached with the Hotel del Coronado

By Bruce Coons

Hotel del Coronado under construction c. 1888

Hotel del Coronado under construction c. 1888. Coons Collection


An agreement has been reached between SOHO and the Hotel Del Coronado to preserve the original 1888 power plant with its attached office, marble switch board, artifacts, the entire original service tunnel between the hotel basement and the power plant, the front portion of the Ice House and the smoke stack. The second laundry, carpenter shop, ice storage building and remains of the garage will be removed. The buildings that are to be retained will be restored and incorporated into the new Master Plan. Missing roof balustrades and skylight structures of the Powerplant are being explored for possible recreation.

A museum display illustrating the relationship and history of the service buildings to the functioning of the Hotel will be created utilizing historic materials from this relatively unknown aspect of the Del's exciting past.

This agreement will insure the restoration, retention and long term preservation of the most important historical resources associated with the original support complex of the Hotel. The power plant was heralded as the "Largest installation of its type in the World" by the San Diego Union when it opened in 1888. It was installed by Mather/Westinghouse who pioneered the Alternating Current (AC) electrical system we still use today. The AC system supplanted Edison's inferior Direct Current (DC) system, which was then in use elsewhere.

Design elements from the power plant will be used in the new construction being built adjacent to the Power plant. These new buildings will not over span any portion of the power plant. This allows it to remain essentially as it has always stood. SOHO and the Del will continue to meet to resolve any issues encountered during the renovation process. SOHO will also advise on the reuse of salvaged materials.

The agreement allows for the achievement of the goals of the Del's new master plan that is aimed at enhancing the appearance of the Hotel and ensuring its long term financial viability, while maintaining much of its historic integrity and layering of historic interest.

After all it is the unique architectural and historic story of the Hotel del Coronado that gives it special appeal among the hotels of the world.

2001 - Volume 32, Issue 4

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Agreement Reached with the Hotel del Coronado

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Contributors to Success


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