This vintage postcard shows the famous Hotel del Coronado illuminated by moonlight and all lit up inside like a Thomas Kinkade dwelling.
Here are eight tidbits about Hotel del Coronado, which opened in 1887 and is located in Coronado, California (near San Diego).
- It is the second largest wooden structure in the United States, behind only the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon.
- The hotel's Crown Room, designed by architect James W. Reid, has a wooden ceiling that was installed with pegs and glue — and not a single nail.
- The original amenities included an Olympic-sized salt-water pool, tennis courts, a Japanese tea garden, an ostrich farm, billiards, bowling alleys, hunting expeditions, and deep sea fishing.
- When Hotel del Coronado opened, electricity was still a novelty. The hotel itself supplied electricity to the city of Coronado. Other technological leaps forward, according to the hotel's website, included "steam-powered hydraulic elevators (among the first in the country), a state-of-the-art fire sprinkler system, and telephone service."
- Notable guests have included Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum, Charlie Chaplin, Vincent Price, Babe Ruth, James Stewart, Brad Pitt and Madonna.
- Baum did much of his writing at the hotel, and the hotel itself inspired books and stories by Ambrose Bierce, Richard Matheson and Stephen King. The hotel has also been featured in more than a dozen movies, the most famous of which is Some Like It Hot.
- During a three-month stay at the hotel in 1892, a girl named Noel wrote a series of letters describing her experiences. The letters were accompanied by watercolors done by Noel's governess. The letters and watercolors were collected in a recent book titled "The Loveliest Hotel You Can Imagine."
- As is the case with most buildings that are more than a century old, the Coronado has its share of ghost stories. The moust famous one involves Kate Morgan. Among the many articles discussing that spectral mystery is this February 2013 piece from San Diego Reader.