311 E Franklin Ave El Paso, TX 79901
Gardner Hotel is the oldest continually operating hotel in the city of El Paso, Texas. Founded in 1922, the downtown hotel has a long history of serving the public, including famous guests, over the years. Find out about our rich history and those who had enjoyed staying with us.
The downtown hotel was first opened in 1922 by Preston E. Gardner, a lawyer who in 1923 ran for Mayor of El Paso. He lost his bid to be Mayor to Richard M. Dudley, after whom Dudley Field is named. Gardner Hotel was originally intended to be a five-story 100-room hotel, but when construction costs went $50,000 over budget and only three floors had been completed, Gardner stopped building. Because of fears of fire in the 1920s, Gardner Hotel was constructed entirely of steel making the hotel almost completely fire proof.
Gardner Hotel has a lot of history but most notably, on Jan. 9, 1934, bank robber John Dillinger and two members of his gang checked into the downtown Gardner Hotel. Dillinger signed the name John D. Ball on the registry and stayed in room 221. But because Dillinger didn’t break any laws during his stay, the El Paso Sheriff’s Department did not arrest him. Dillinger checked out a few days later but was captured Jan. 25, 1934, in Tucson after being recognized by firefighters who had saved his heavy luggage from a burning hotel there. Find out more about us from our staff – Gardner Hotel has been family run since the 1960’s so we know a great deal of its history ourselves – just ask us!