Hotel Paso del Norte

The Hotel Paso del Norte, located in Pioneer Plaza in El Paso and built concurrently with the White House - McCoy hotel, was completed and opened on November 15, 1912 (El Paso Herald, 10/25/1912). The building was designed in a Beau Arts architectural style by Trost & Trost. The contractor was the Fred A. Jones Building Company. A number of architectural firms were involved in the pre-planning stages for this building, including Frank Mills Andrews (1867-1948), an east-coast architectural genius, and the firm of Mauran, Russell & Crowell from St. Louis. The commission was awarded to Trost & Trost after Henry Trost paid special attention to owner Zach White's requirement that the building be fireproof, including a special trip with White to San Francisco to study buildings that had survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906.

The Trost structure is a ten story U-shaped building. Its construction was done in concrete and steel, with brick. Trim is in white terra cotta, with a final construction cost of between 1 and 1.5 million dollars. Finials throughout the building (both interior and exterior) were designed by Henry Trost personally, then created by artist Herr Zierold, a local talent that Trost had brought over with him from Tucson in 1903. Zierold is also responsible for supplying the complicated decorations on the exterior of the 1926 Hotel Ornforff, known today as the Cortez on the Plaza building.

Additions through the years include a tenth story ballroom in 1922 (designed and supervised by Henry Trost), a 1936 addition of a top-floor banquet facility and roof garden, and the 1984 addition of the existing 17 floor tower and new lobby for the Camino Real.

The hotel was built by Zach White and a number of investors, including White House owner Felix Martinez. Mr. White had watched the destruction, by fire, of El Paso's Grand Central Hotel in 1892 and decided to build a fireproof hotel in its place. In addition to being fireproof, in the shocked aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake it was also designed to be earthquake proof. Henry Trost traveled with Zach White to San Francisco after the earthquake to do studies on buildings that survived the tremor, and this newfound knowledge was instrumental in the Paso del Norte's construction, and was also, as mentioned above, instrumental to Trost winning the commission.

The hotel was opened on November 26, 1912 to great fanfare. It was considered the finest hotel between Dallas and Los Angeles. Hotel guests included Vice President Richard Nixon, Amelia Earheart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Will Rogers, and Gen. John Pershing.

The original lobby of the hotel, now a lounge and restaurant, has a huge iconic glass dome that was made by Mitchel & Halbach, a Chicago firm that did a number of decorative projects for Trost in El Paso.

The Myers Group, a Florida investment firm, purchased the Hotel and completely restored it, opening on October 15, 2020 as a Marriott Autograph Collection property under its original name.

Text and research provided to by Mark Stone. This historical narrative is derived from newspaper articles and City Directory entries accessed through the Library of Congress' Chronicling America project at and the University of North Texas (Denton) Digital Archives at

Painting the roof of the old 1986 Camino Real during the restoration of the building that was completed in October of 2020. Picture taken by myself on 2/06/2019

Paso del Norte Hotel on August 1, 2018. Picture taken by Mark Stone.

This is the hotel that started it all. This was the Grand Central Hotel, located where the current Anson Mills building is. The Grand Central was built in 1884, but burned to the ground on February 11, 1892. As Zach White watched it burn, he determined to build a hotel that would be fireproof - and his vision eventually became Trost's Paso del Norte. Image credit: El Paso Museum of History (Digie)
During construction in 1912. This view is to the west down San Antonio St. Image credit: Trost Society

During construction in 1911 or 1912. This picture was taken at the northeast corner of the new hotel, as evidenced by the Unique Theater building to the right (reference the images immediately below and above this one). Individuals standing in front of the construction are, from left to right, Zach White (owner of Hotel Paso del Norte), James G. McNary, Gustavus Trost, Henry C. Trost, W. L. Tooley, Hunter, Horace B. Stevens, Richard Burgess, Fred A. Jones, and Felix Martinez (owner and builder of the White House). Image credit: Portal to Texas History

Soon after its 1912 opening. Image credit: El Paso Public Library, via Portal to Texas History
A Post Card from 1913. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Here's the gorgeous original hotel lobby with the domed glass ceiling. After the 1984 addition of the 17-story tower, it became the lounge. Image credit: El Paso History Museum's DIGIE

1970. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
An artist's rendering of the remodeled hotel after its restoration. Photo credit: Meyers Group

The East wall of the hotel as viewed from San Antonio St. in front of the
 American Furniture building. Photo taken by myself Mark Stone 8/1/2018

Same view of the East side. Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

Southeast corner of the building. Note all of the construction equipment and the workers on the
roof. Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

The view from about a block down El Paso St. Photo taken by myself on 8/1/2018

Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

The view of the west side of the building. Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018

Where the old meets the new. On the left, the original Trost structure, which is more ornate and
has slightly darker bricks; on the right is part of the 1984 17-story addition. In the artist
rendering of the current renovation, the brick color is the same - we'll see what really happens.
Photo taken by Mark Stone 8/1/2018