Virtual Tour of The Ahwahnee Hotel - Lobby Entrance
As you step in through the doors of the hotel the view of the lobby shown above greets you. While not unattractive, you may have the feeling that this is not the stately entrance one might expect for a first-class hotel. The reason for this is very simple; the architect did not intend for this to be the main hotel entrance! Approximately ten days prior to the hotel's opening a major design error was discovered. The original porte-cochere was constructed with guest rooms above it. When vehicles arrived and parked with the engines idling to load and unload guests and luggage, the fumes from the vehicles rose up and wafted into the rooms above. The summers in Yosemite are very warm, and in an era before air conditioning, windows needed to be left open. Guests choking on the fumes of autos in a first-class hotel was not at all acceptable! So a new porte-cochere was quickly designed and constructed behind the hotel, along with a covered walkway from it to the lobby. Thus, what was intended as a side door became the main hotel entrance!
Text, photos, and images by Jess Stryker, unless noted. Copyright © Jess Stryker, 2008. All rights reserved.