El Tovar Dining Room Grand Canyon

The Santa Fe Railway initially planned for a relatively small hotel, but increased the size in view of increasing traffic to the Grand Canyon. The site was an area of 20 acres (8. 1 ha) granted by the U. S. Government for use as a train terminal. The design was carried out by the railroad’s architect Charles Whittlesey, of Topeka, Kansas and was projected to cost $250,000 to build. Rejecting an initial plan to call it the “Bright Angel Tavern”, the tradition of using Spanish names for Harvey hotels was continued for the new hotel. Since the name of the canyon’s discoverer, García López de Cárdenas, was given to an existing Harvey Hotel, the hotel was named after Pedro de Tobar (or de Tovar), who had reported rumors of a large river in the area, inspiring the Cárdenas expedition.