San Diego Resort History
Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Hotel del Coronado is an American treasure with more than 125 years of stories to tell. The Del’s visionary founders, Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story, dreamed of building a seaside resort that would be “the talk of the Western world.” Since then, the resort has become a living legend, visited by celebrities, dignitaries and U.S. presidents. Explore the Hotel del Coronado history timeline below, or visit the resort’s Est. 1888 store for history display cases and the downstairs history hallway to view large historic photographs. Visit our Guest Gallery below to add your own Del memories.
A Decided Place • Coronado Beach Company Created • Development of Coronado Island • Proposed Design • Groundbreaking Ceremony • Hotel Construction • First Wedding at the Hotel • The Highest Point of the Hotel • The Del Debuts • The Rotunda • New Technologies • The Woman in the Window • The Crown Room • Guestrooms • The Ballroom • Owner John D. Spreckels (1890-1926) • President Benjamin Harrison Visits The Del • Noel • Kate Morgan Mystery Begins • Tent City Opens • Author L. Frank Baum • World’s First • President William Taft • The Pearl of Paradise • Charlie Chaplin • Charles Lindbergh • The Ballroom Expands • President Franklin Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt • Some Like it Hot • San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Opens • Nixon’s State Dinner at The Del • The Stunt Man • National Historic Landmark • President Jimmy Carter • President Gerald Ford • The Oxford • Beach Village at The Del Opens