By Edith Cherry and James See – May 17, 2022
Address: 200 West Broadway St., Silver City, NM 88061
Access: Hotel Website 575-956-9400
At five stories, the Murray Hotel, the tallest building in town at the time, reflected the growth spurt experienced by Silver City as it recovered from the Great Depression. It was developed by William D. Murray, a successful Grant County businessman, who wanted to build the most modern hotel in the area.
Percy McGhee, architect of the Murray Hotel, practiced in El Paso, Texas. At the time, some very impressive Art Deco-style buildings were being built there. The design style of the hotel, Streamline Moderne, is considered a subset of the Art Deco style, popular in the 1930s. Whereas Art Deco surfaces were often decorated, Streamline Moderne evoked smoothness and efficiency, the advantages of industry, and speed. This style often includes white walls and smooth surfaces.
The vertical strip of glass block, front and center of the tower, emphasizes the five-story height. Glass block, invented in Europe, was introduced to the American public in 1933 at the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition and became a staple material for the Streamline Moderne style. This application could be one of the earliest in New Mexico. The ground floor base housed retail businesses, a restaurant and a ballroom. This base now has a brown tile wainscot.
The Murray suffered a downturn for a few decades at the end of the 20th century, but has been significantly restored in recent years.
Architect: Percy McGhee
Contractor: J.E. Morgan & Sons East Addition: 1949
Contractor: Frank Tatsch
Architect: Seeking Info*
Contractor: Seeking Info*
National Register of Historic Places: Contributing building in the Silver City Historic District.
2020, Cave, Philip, The Murray Hotel: From A Dream To Reality, Published by Murray Hotel, Silver City, New Mexico.
2021, February 28, Rosales, Glen, “Bedtime Stories, Tours of the Historic Murray Hotel Offer a Glimpse into Silver City’s Past,” The Sunday Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A Brief History of Glass Block: Website
Streamline Moderne style: Wikipedia
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