Individual Buildings 5 include the El Tovar Hotel, the Grand Canyon Railroad Depot, the Grand Canyon Lodge, the Grand Canyon Park Operations Building (also known as Ranger Operations), and the Grand Canyon Power House. The railway tracks that run through the park are made of steel and wood, and have been used for transportating tourists to their hotels since 1919. The depot was built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1923. The lodge was constructed between 1927 and 1931, also by the Santa Fe. The power house generates electricity for the hotel and railroad lines.
There are no cities or towns within the Grand Canyon area, but there are several small communities nearby. Flagstaff is about an hour's drive from the South Rim, while Williams is about an hour and a half's drive from the North Rim.
Flagstaff is home to many universities including Northern Arizona University, which has over 10,000 students; and Arizona State University, which has over 42,000 students. The city is also popular with artists because of its beautiful setting high in the mountains of northern Arizona.
Williams is a small town near the Utah border with a population of only 9,000 people. It is the county seat of Coconino County and serves as the main market center for a region of large national parks and monuments.
El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon Railroad Depot, Grand Canyon Lodge, Grand Canyon Park Operations Building (also known as Ranger Operations), and the Grand Canyon Power House are all National Historic Landmarks in Grand Canyon National Park.
These landmarks are located within the national park, but some are also used during visits to the adjacent Hualapai Indian Reservation. The reservation is home to the Hualapai tribe, who have their own government and laws they can decide what role if any they want to play with regards to protecting these sites.
The Havasupai people have refused to sell their land, which includes most of the Grand Canyon, and they refuse to allow any developments on it. The federal government has forced them to move off their land so a large dam can be built by Arizona's power company, which will provide electricity for other parts of the country.
The construction site for this dam is only 500 feet from the edge of the canyon where it meets its deepest point. When the reservoir behind the dam is full it will cover one-and-a-half miles long and hold five billion gallons of water. The expected date for completion of this project is 2013.
There are several reasons why these sites should be protected, not the least of which is that they are valuable resources for scientific research.
Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Buckey O'Neill Cabin, Hopi House, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio are among the tour's highlights. You'll also discover how, beginning in 1901, Grand Canyon Village sprang up around the Santa Fe Railroad. Today, it is home to many shops and restaurants.
The village was originally built by the railroad to house their employees and travelers. By 1919, when this photo was taken, it included a post office, general store, movie theater, and hotel. In addition, there were also several private homes with lawns and gardens.
In 2009, after much debate and controversy, the National Park Service decided to sell the Grand Canyon Village Museum to pay for maintenance at other sites within the park. The sale price has not been disclosed.
However, some people believe that because of its unique location on the edge of the canyon floor, with spectacular views of the Colorado River, that the museum should be worth more than $20 million.
After the sale is complete, the museum will close its doors for good and no more tours will be offered. However, those who want to see what life was like during the early years of Grand Canyon National Park can visit the remaining historic buildings and neighborhoods outside of the village center. These include Kaibab Lodge, Williams Lodge, Desert View Watchtower, Mohave County Jail, and Havasu Landing.