Built on the site of the U.S. Grant, Jr. home on Ash Street, the hotel depicted on this picture postcard 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." This was the first of several highly visible changes made to the hotel before its restoration to its 1927 appearance by 2000.The "Starlight Express" glass hydraulic elevator was built up the front of the building (shown in a this split photograph on the left) in 1956. The 15-story elevator may have been the tallest hydraulic elevator in the world (175 feet), and it was the second glass elevator ever installed. Its designer was architect C. J. Paderewski (1908-2007). The Curt Teich number in the stamp box on the back is not fully legible, but the decoded first two numbers (7C) yield a date of 1957. The Western Publishing number on the back is D.52.