El Tovar, one of the Grand Canyon’s historic buildings, was remodeled in 2005. // © El Tovar Hotel
Though most visitors to the Grand Canyon are looking for a geological experience, Grand Canyon Village offers a taste of history as well. Structures throughout the area offer a glimpse into the area’s past, as well as a unique way to experience the Grand Canyon.
The El Tovar Hotel opened in 1905, and was designed as a cross between a Swiss chalet and a Norwegian villa. It was considered the most luxurious hotel between the Rocky Mountains and San Francisco, and housed celebrities including Albert Einstein and Elizabeth Taylor, plus a number of U.S. presidents including Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. The hotel is credited with helping to increase visitation and awareness of the Grand Canyon region as well as the American West.
Other renowned structures in the area include The Buckley O’Neill Cabin, built in the 1890s and the oldest continuously standing structure on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon; Kolb Studio, an early 1900s photography studio that now operates as a gift shop and gallery; and Lookout Studio, built in 1914 out of native stone and offering spectacular views.