02.1 Excavation Begins

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    86.16.21.jpgExcavation work on the San Marcos began prior toDr. Chandler on Landsales Day, May 17, 1912.jpg land sale day on May 17, 1912.  The work was started to show potential land purchasers that the resort hotel would be a soon be a reality.  The Los Angeles firm Sears & Gilbraith was the contractor hired to excavate the hotel site. In the picture to the left, we can see the excavation that greeted potential investors the new townsite. In the picture on the right, Dr. Chandler enjoys an ice cream cone on land sales day at the future site of the San Marcos Hotel.  Piles of dirt from the San Marcos excavation are visible behind him.

    The San Marcos was to be a show piece for the new town. The front page of the Chandler Arizonan beamed about the plans for the new "Winter Social Center" and "Tourist Hotel" in May 28, 1912. The newspaper explained the hotel's progress and included a rendering by the hotel's designer Arthur Burnett Benton:

    Work is steadily progressing on the foundation of the beautiful San Marcos Hotel, facing the Chandler Park. It is planned to have at least the first story of the structure ready for the accomodation of tourist the coming winter. The winter climate of the Pasadena of Arizona is even more agreeable than that of Pasadena, California, probably the wealthiest tourist city on the continent. The guests at the San Marcos hotel are to have the joy of a plunge bath, covering nearly a city block across the park from the hotel, and fed by a river of warm water pumped from a well like those dug by the government at various points on the big ranch. The water is very soft and has a temperature of between 78 and 80 degrees.1

    San Marcos Drawing.jpg


    By the end of May, a force of eight men and sixteen mules were constantly at work excavating the San Marcos site.2  The John Van Eaton, the editor of the newspaper, wanted to ensure that anyone reading would not miss this news, and published the intormation in two different places in the same edition of the paper.3 4



    Excavation progressed quickly. On June 14, 1912, the Chandler Arizonan explained to its readers that the excavation stage was almost complete.

    Building Boom Likely to Follow on Heels of Active Work of San Marcos
    Laying of Cement for Basement and Pillars Probably Begins Next Week

    Before another issue of the Arizonan is published, work will have commenced upon the laying of the concrete foundation for the beautiful San Marcos hotel, the initial big feature of the Pasadena of the Salt River Valley. Once under way, the work will be hurried, it being the firm of the founders of the new Pasadena to have the hotel ready for a large number of guests during the coming winter.
    All week the large force of men and teams have been busy from early until late finishing the excavation work for the concrete basement of the hotel, and places for the numerous piers. Just as soon as active work is commenced upon the hotel building itself, much general activity in building may be expected throughout the townsite. At the initial sale of lots in May every business corner in the townsite of the first-class was sold to parties who contracted to put up fireproof structures within twelve months. Many are holding off until after the summer, but the spirit of the new Pasadena is getting so strong the building era is likely to set in in earnest....The hotel when completed, will represent an outlay of practically $100,000. Its big adjunct will be a palatial natatorium, located one block away across the city park, which has already been laid out, partially planted with trees and underlayed with water pipes, curbed and guttered with concrete. Under the direction of City Engineer Binkley a pipe spraying system has been laid along the north side of Chandler Park, for irrigation purposes. The water was turned on for the first time Saturday and everything worked first class. City Engineer Binkley has his heart in the work of making Chandler the municipal beauty spot of the whole southwest. His extensive plans have the cordial backing of Dr. A. J. Chandler, the founder of the Arizona Pasadena. The park in time will make a most beautiful frontage for the San Marcos."5

    1912-06-14-1 Excavation of San Marcos.jpg













    In the image above, a team of mules pulls dirt up a small incline on the San Marcos site using a Fresno Scraper.


    <01. Designer: Arthur Burnett Benton ♦Exhibit Home

    02.2 Weaver Const. Co. Hired to Build Hotel>


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