Hopi house opened on January 1, 1905, the first
Grand Canyon work of architect Mary Colter. To
complement El Tovar, their new hotel, the Fred
Harvey Company commissioned Colter to design a
building to display and sell Indian arts and crafts.
Colter designed Hopi House to resemble a true
Indian dwelling, modeling it after structures in
the Hopi village of Old Oraibi.
When it opened, Hopi House contained sales areas
and a museum. Upper floors housed Hopi families
who worked here. Visitors could observe artisans
at work, and in the evening experience traditional
song and dance on the patio.
Hopi House was designed to blend commercial
needs with a human and natural setting, an
architectural concept then new in the Southwest.
Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter
For almost 50 years, Mary
Colter designed structures
and interiors throughout the
Southwest for the Fred Harvey
Company. She advanced a new
architectural style - simpler designs
that incorporated the Southwestern
heritage she loved. She was a pioneer,
succeeding in a man's field at a time
when professional women were not
Six of Mary Colter's works
may be seen at Grand
Canyon; Hopi House, Bright
Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio,
Hermit's Rest, Desert View
Watchtower, and Phantom Ranch.