This is a Real Photo postcard, most likely self-published by either the person who took the photograph or a friend or family member. The Real Photo process allowed amateur or professional photographers to take "snapshots" and develop them at home or take them to photo finishers to print out onto postcard backs ready for mailing. Built on the site of the U.S. Grant, Jr. home on Ash Street, the hotel was the tallest building (at 310 feet) in San Diego from its opening in 1927 until 1963. The El Cortéz was designed by the firm of Albert R. Walker (1981-1958) and Percy Eisen (1885-1946), the architects responsible for the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. In 1937 the hotel changed hands, and a large illuminated sign was placed at the top of the hotel reading, "El Cortez Hotel." The lack of this sign means that the photograph must have been taken between 1927 and 1937. On the back are only a dividing line between the message and address portions, the words "Photo postcard" and "Address," and "Devolite Peerless" in the stamp box.