San Bernardino, CA

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

At 295 North E. Street in the heart of downtown San Bernardino, California, once stood the Hotel Antlers, hailed as “absolutely fireproof,” and San Bernardino’s first skyscraper.

On April 20, 1925, the hotel opened to much fanfare and was the city’s most modern hotel.

Its 150 guest rooms all had an exterior window for added ventilation.

One look at the linen-style postcard showing the lobby of the Hotel Antlers, one can almost smell the aroma of coffee brewing and hear the clinking of china plates at the coffee shop adjacent to the lobby.

The hotel was a popular spot for San Bernardino visitors who traveled along Route 66.

Two iconic stops to make while in San Bernardino are the Wig-Wam Motel, one of the last remaining wigwam-style motels in the country.

Dating back to 1926, the nineteen, 32-foot-tall steel and concrete wigwams are still open today and receive rave reviews from Route 66 travelers.

Another site not to miss is the very first McDonald’s restaurant in the Historic Route 66 Business District.

The site is a museum dedicated to arguably the world’s most recognizable fast food brand.

In the late 1950s, San Bernardino’s downtown area began to change. Hotels like The Antlers saw fewer and fewer guests and more long-term, lower-income rental tenants.

By 1959, hotel owners were struggling to make ends meet and the decision was made to raze the aging structure.

That task was easier said than done as demolition crews struggled to bring the reinforced steel and concrete structure to the ground.

The job took over two months to complete.

This postcard was mailed from March Field, California in January of 1943 to Mr. Francis Wolfe Hinke of Baltimore, Maryland.

The private message reads: “Hi Hinke, How are you, fine I hope. I haven’t got much time for the lights are about to go out. I will write you a letter in a couple of days. Pvt. Anthony Maggio, CO-B, 2-Platoon, 844th Engineer Aviation Battalion, March Field, Calif.”

 

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