The Hopi House in the Grand Canyon Village was designed by the famous architect Mary Jane Elizabeth Colter, and completed construction in 1905 just before the El Tovar was completed.
It was designed to blend in with it’s rim-side surroundings and was constructed of the same dried clay and similar fashion as the nearby Hopi Indians.
The Hopi Indians are a tribe of the Pueblo Indians that reside in Arizona and regions around the Grand Canyon. At the time of it’s construction, Southwest American Indian culture and art was highly sought after and the Sante Fe Railroad and Partner, Fred Harvey Company used the Hopi House as place to display and sell Pueblo Indian art, murals, pottery, baskets, wood carvings, jewelry, ceremonial masks and kachina dolls.
Now, over 100 years later, the store still carries Southwestern Indian treasures and is worth walking through, just to experience the structure, itself. The cool clay, low ceilings, and small windows, make this an ideal desert store and museum. And while a typical Hopi home would be accessed via ladder from roof into the building, Mary Colter’s design is more friendly for the tourist!
Hopi artisans helped construct this multi-tiered house, and for the next several decades, it was home to Indian merchant families who sold their goods to the early tourists that came to the Grand Canyon.
This attraction has a two-fold significance:
- It’s authentic American Indian construction; and
- It’s a great work or art by a female American Architect that made a strong and positive impact on her field. Her use of natural materials and letting the surroundings design the structure formed the basis for what is known as rustic architecture today.
If you get a chance to visit it, check out it’s dedication plaque. It reads:
On the last night of our Grand Canyon vacation stay, we chose to watch the sunset from the Village area and walked along the rim trail from the Bright Angel Lodge and settling along our ‘rim side’ seats in front of this Pueblo home. This is a very peaceful spot along the rim with shade trees, a knee wall to sit on, an open area outside for the kids to run around, and a quaint area to shop in with Native American crafts that tell a story and a history of the region.