The Rotunda

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View of the inside of the Rotunda, c. 1888

1888 — The Rotunda

An 1888 brochure for the new Southern California destination spoke of the comfort of the lobby, which was called the rotunda: “This is a handsome apartment, large and lofty. Raised high over it, and running all around it, is a wide gallery which commands a view of the floor of the rotunda, where the main office is. This gallery is much frequented by the ladies. Thither they resort for friendly, social converse, and to see newcomers entering below and registering their names.” Although the hotel's historic lobby has changed over the years, its main configuration has remained the same, including its second-floor balcony. The lobby’s elevator was also an original amenity; during a trial run, a reported 2,500 pounds were easily conveyed.