Painted Desert Inn

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Painted Desert Inn
Painted Desert Inn, 2006
LocationPetrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Coordinates35°5′2.32″N 109°47′17.17″W / 35.0839778°N 109.7881028°W / 35.0839778; -109.7881028Coordinates: 35°5′2.32″N 109°47′17.17″W / 35.0839778°N 109.7881028°W / 35.0839778; -109.7881028
ArchitectLyle E. Bennett; Mary Jane Colter
Architectural stylePueblo Revival
NRHP reference #87001421
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 28, 1987[1]
Designated NHLMay 28, 1987[2]

Painted Desert Inn is a lodge complex in Petrified Forest National Park, in Navajo County, eastern Arizona. It is located off of Interstate 40 and historic U.S. Route 66, overlooking the Painted Desert. [3]


The inn's lodge building and adobe guest cabins−casitas were designed in the Pueblo Revival style, by National Park Service architect Lyle E. Bennett and others from the Park Service Branch of Plans and Design. Construction was carried out by Civilian Conservation Corps builders and artisans over 1937–1940.[4] A portion of the main lodge building was remodeled from the 1920s inn on the site, known as the Stone Tree House due to much local petrified wood used in its architectural elements.[5]

After post-war design revisions by architect Mary Jane Colter, it was operated by the Fred Harvey Company as a Harvey House from 1947 to 1963, when it closed.[6] Demolition was proposed in the mid-1970s, but after public protests the building was reopened for limited use in 1976. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

The main lodge building of the Painted Desert Inn was extensively rehabilitated and restored, reopening as a museum and bookstore in 2006. Overnight accommodations and food service are not currently available at the inn. [7]

Mural by Hopi Artist Fred Kabotie (painted c. 1948), commissioned by Mary Jane Colter.
Skylights in the Painted Desert Inn, painted by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


Hopi artist Fred Kabotie was engaged by Colter to paint the Inn's murals in 1947–48. Colter knew Kabotie from a previous collaboration at the Fred Harvey Hopi House in Grand Canyon National Park. Kabotie's work depicts aspects of Hopi life, including a journey through the Painted Desert to collect salt.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Painted Desert Inn". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
  3. ^ NPS−Petrified Forest National Park . accessed 11.27.2014
  4. ^ ""Architecture in the Parks: A National Historic Landmark Theme Study: Painted Desert Inn", by Laura Soullière Harrison". National Historic Landmark Theme Study. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
  5. ^ Stone Tree House
  6. ^ "Painted Desert Inn". List of Classified Structures. National Park Service. 2008-11-26.
  7. ^ NPS−Petrified Forest National Park: Rehabilitation of the Painted Desert Inn
  8. ^ NPS−Petrified Forest National Park: Hopi Heritage at the Inn

External links[edit]