Manufacturer: Syracuse China
User: Paso Del Norte Hotel
Date of Nature Study plates: 1927-1950s
Notes: The 10-story Beaux Arts-style Paso Del Norte Hotel of El Paso, Texas, was designed by architect Henry C. Trost. It was built for Zach T. White and opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1912 with 300 rooms and 200 baths. The hotel had a two-story lobby with mezzanine and a central 25-foot domed Tiffany stained glass skylight. It also had a two-story main dining room, featuring arch-topped windows and octagonal marble columns with ornate gold capitals. In 1922, a ballroom was opened on the 10th floor.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and underwent a $20 million restoration in 1982. In 1986, a 17-story tower was added to the hotel. By 2004, the hotel name was changed to the Camino Real El Paso Hotel.
From the hotel's website, "Having made its debut on Thanksgiving Day in 1912, this historic property has remained one of the most iconic landmarks in downtown El Paso. Lavishly designed by famed architect Henry Trost, the hotel was dubbed the "million-dollar hotel". The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 5, 1979. Featuring 351-luxury rooms and suites and located less than a mile from the Mexico international border – Hotel Paso Del Norte celebrates the intersection of three diverse cultures, and the past and future. Over a decade, the hotel has stood sentinel to several changes – cultural, political, and architectural – and welcomed the biggest names in history including U.S. Presidents, countless celebrities, and distinguished guests from around the world. In October 2016, the Mexican hotel group Camino Real Hotels sold the building to The Meyers Group. The hotel officially re-opened in October 2020."
These plates, Nos. 7 and 10, were designed by Syracuse China's master designer Harry Aitken, who created a series of plates with hand-painted decorations, including 40 from the Nature Study series of birds and flowers. They are marked on the backstamp: Hotel Paso Del Norte, El Paso, Texas.
These constitute some of the most accomplished hand-painted pictorial decorations of the era to come from an American pottery. There are 12 plates in the "Poppy" series. It is not known how many of the Poppy plates were ordered for Paso Del Norte. Click here to view a 1932 Syracuse China catalog excerpt of these service plates.
ID contributed by Larry Paul
Architectural info contributed by Traintime