Monday, March 3, 2014

The Hotel Congress in Tucson Arizona by Richard Zampella

Located in the downtown district of Tucson, Arizona stand the historic Hotel Congress. The hotel was originally built in 1919 as the sister building of the Rialto Theater which is directly across the street. The hotel is widely recognized for the capture of bank Robber John Dillinger in 1934. After a number of robberies, Dillinger and his gang used a room on the third floor as a hide out to evade the the FBI. When a fire broke out in the basement, two members of the gang identified themselves in order to retrieve their luggage from local fireman. Local authorities arrested the group and they were transferred to a fail in Indiana where Dillinger eventually escaped.

The current day hotel houses the Club Congress and has become a site for touring bands in Souther Arizona and the Tap Room at the hotel is a favored period bar. The lobby still maintain it's original decor complete with the original phone booths and registration desk. Hotel Congress has received write-ups in Playboy, SPIN, and Blender—among others. In the June 2007 issue of Esquire magazine, Club Congress was named one of the best bars in America.

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