The El Cortez Hotel was the tallest building in San Diego in 1927 when it was built. The Sky Room on the 15th floor was added in 1940 with glass walls and a view of San Diego visible in the middle of the picture on this picture postcard. In 1950 Harry Handlery bought the hotel, and the words "A Handlery Hotel" appear on the reverse of the card, narrowing the dates of the postcard from 1950 to 1978, when the hotel was sold. A photograph in the possession of the San Diego History Center shows that the Pacifico Room, mentioned in the reverse of the card, was in existence in the front of the building in 1956. The El Cortez Owners Association trademarked the name and image of the hotel; in 1990 the City of San Diego Historic Site Board named the building "historic," which prevented it from being razed; and in 2002, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, the renovated building, called the El Cortez Apartment Hotel, was divided into condominiums. An inset in black and white on the bottom right shows the building from the outside, front. The approximate date is the 1950s.