flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Restoration of 1930s El Paso hotel completes

Hotel Facilities

Restoration of 1930s El Paso hotel completes

The project represented a cross-collaboration of Cooper Carry’s Hospitality studio and The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | June 25, 2020
LaPerla Rooftop bar

All photos courtesy The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park

Originally designed by local El Paso architects Trost & Trost in the 1930s, The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park has recently reopened after a historic rehabilitation project. The project includes 130 guest rooms, 7,600 sf of event space, a lobby bar, and a rooftop bar overlooking the Franklin Mountains and Mexican border.

The hotel’s design motif represents a hybrid of the Art Deco style of the 1920s and the naturalistic, Native American adobe architectural styles. The design team worked to accommodate modern hotel operation and amenities while also rehabilitating key aspects of the original design, including all of the historic signage, brick facade, precast deco reliefs and signature medallions, the bronze on many of the storefronts and second-floor windows, interior wood trim surrounding the tower windows, the clay and tile roof, and the Spanish-tiled pyramidal crown.


Ambar Restaurante Bar


Upon entering the lobby, guests are greeted by the reinstated double-height atrium (which was previously enclosed during a mid-century renovation), stained glass, skylights, wood beams, decorative stenciling, and an original railing on the historic staircase connecting the first and second levels. The design team used old newspaper stories and photographs published around the hotel’s first public opening to reinterpret many of the original elements with custom light fixtures, materials, and color choices. In areas where the original terra cotta tile flooring was missing, Cooper Carry used concrete flooring to create a layered texture.


See Also: One of Europe’s largest office and warehouse buildings is made entirely of wood


Ambar Restaurante Dining area


The Ámbar Restaurante and Lobby Bar includes a 40-foot-high back bar that displays one of Texas’ largest tequila collections being a sheath of amber glass and polished stainless steel. A contemporary style staircase is partially concealed behind the bar and amber glass to provide server access to the wall of tequila as well as secretly connecting the main dining room and exposed theater kitchen to a cellar-like private dining space located in the former trunk and boiler rooms. Check-in is located to the side of the bar. La Perla, a 5,000-sf rooftop bar and restaurant, is located on the 17th floor in the former penthouse suite. The space includes tiered-seating and built in garden planters to create intimate seating areas.

The project officially opened on June 17.


Project Design Team


Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio - Project Lead

The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry - F&B; Restaurant + Bar/Rooftop Bar

Forrest Perkins - Lobby/Meeting Rooms/Guestrooms


Plaza Exterior


The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park lobby


The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park Lobby library


The pLaza Hotel Pioneer Park Trost Ballroom

Related Stories

Hotel Facilities | Apr 17, 2024

Will the surge in hotel construction carry resorts with it?

The resort corner of the hospitality sector has been a bit slower to expand than the whole for the past few years. But don’t tell that to Bill Wilhelm, President of R.D. Olson Construction.

Sponsored | Hotel Facilities | Apr 8, 2024

The Rise of Mobile Keys in Hospitality

Unlocking the future of hospitality—mobile keys are transforming the guest experience and streamlining hotel ops.

Adaptive Reuse | Mar 30, 2024

Hotel vs. office: Different challenges in commercial to residential conversions

In the midst of a national housing shortage, developers are examining the viability of commercial to residential conversions as a solution to both problems.

Adaptive Reuse | Mar 26, 2024

Adaptive Reuse Scorecard released to help developers assess project viability

Lamar Johnson Collaborative announced the debut of the firm’s Adaptive Reuse Scorecard, a proprietary methodology to quickly analyze the viability of converting buildings to other uses.

Products and Materials | Feb 29, 2024

Top building products for February 2024

BD+C Editors break down February's top 15 building products, from custom-engineered glass bridges to washroom accessories.

Designers | Feb 23, 2024

Coverings releases top 2024 tile trends

In celebration of National Tile Day, Coverings, North America's leading tile and stone exhibition, has announced the top 10 tile trends for 2024.

Mixed-Use | Jan 29, 2024

12 U.S. markets where entertainment districts are under consideration or construction

The Pomp, a 223-acre district located 10 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and The Armory, a 225,000-sf dining and entertainment venue on six acres in St Louis, are among the top entertainment districts in the works across the U.S.

Industry Research | Jan 23, 2024

Leading economists forecast 4% growth in construction spending for nonresidential buildings in 2024

Spending on nonresidential buildings will see a modest 4% increase in 2024, after increasing by more than 20% last year according to The American Institute of Architects’ latest Consensus Construction Forecast. The pace will slow to just over 1% growth in 2025, a marked difference from the strong performance in 2023.

Hotel Facilities | Jan 22, 2024

U.S. hotel construction is booming, with a record-high 5,964 projects in the pipeline

The hotel construction pipeline hit record project counts at Q4, with the addition of 260 projects and 21,287 rooms over last quarter, according to Lodging Econometrics.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Jan 17, 2024

Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction

This continuing education course, by Walter P Moore's Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE, covers design considerations for below-grade waterproofing for new construction, the types of below-grade systems available, and specific concerns associated with waterproofing deep foundations.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021