Hotel Congress: Tucson, Arizona

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Hotel Congress: Tucson, Arizona

Postby jadewik » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:04 pm

On one of the last weekends every January, Tucson capitalizes on the capture of John Dillinger by hosting Dillinger Days. They have hot period cars, vendors, a free reenactment, and they even let you into the History Museum for FREE to see John Dillinger's Tommy Guns, which Tucson Police Department (TPD) loans out once a year (under guard) for this event. Jordan and I went in Jan 2008. We also braved the chilly weather to go again this year.

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Below: Dillinger's tommy guns Photos from 2008 and 2010 (2 photos), respectively.
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Below: Dillinger's padded body armor and case
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One of the great things about Hotel Congress is the fact that they've tried to keep the "luxury hotel of the 1920's" feel to the place. Because it really, truly was. They still use the old switch board-- and all the staff are switchboard operators. There are also no televisions located in any of the rooms because they weren't original to the hotel. Rooms heat with radiators and are cooled with swamp coolers.

Here's a photo of the area behind the front desk:
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Below: A photo of the rotary phones used in each room.
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The door to room 214 is rather odd in appearance. From a distance, the door appears to be slanted downwards 10-15 degrees towards the left. The floor also appears to rise up and then curve downward before the door... but when you walk closer to the door, the angle changes and the door straightens out or bends another direction. The door has been surveyed and checked with a level. It is perfectly straight and the door frame is parallel to the walls... yet it appears crooked. The room is the location of a successful suicide attempt, and is called the "suicide room" by many. A man put the long end of a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The room was cleaned and most of the shot was removed from the wall, but it's rumored that there is still some shot that was never removed from the wall.

When I asked the manager, who was telling about OTHER haunted rooms in Hotel Congress, what she knew about room 214... she countered with the response of "I don't know... what do you know about room 214?" Since we'd just been chatting about the Lost Souls ghost tours, it was suggested she ask the Lost Souls lady about the room.

Anyway, I took a photo of the door so you could see the slant-- optical illusion?... maybe. There is also a photo of the inside of the room from the front door.

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Other rooms that were "haunted" include the hotel's "most haunted" room-- Room 242, where the hotel manager says guests have reported a woman sitting on their bed who tries to wake slumbering guests so she can talk to them. (It was occupied, so I was unable to photograph the inside of the room.)

Room 216 is known as the "heart attack" room. A guest of the hotel died from a heart attack in this room. People have supposedly seen the visage of an old man looking out the window of this room. (It was occupied, so I was unable to photograph the inside of the room.)

Room 220 housed the last artist in residence of the hotel. Hotel Congress honored this fellow's room rate of $7/night until the day he died. In life, the artist in residence LOVED to tinker with things and would borrow butter knives from downstairs to use as screwdrivers. Hotel Congress staff still find butter knives in odd locations throughout the hotel. Below: Photo of room 220.

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Re: Hotel Congress: Tucson, Arizona

Postby Andybev01 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:27 am

Tuscon seems to have an active spirit population.

I love that bedside radio. I wonder if the designers were aware that mass media would become the religion of the future.
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Hotel Congress: Tucson, Arizona

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:59 am

I was under the impression that John Dillinger prefered his automatic pistol, but used the "Tommy Gun" when in a major shoot-out with the police. For bank roberies, howver, the hand gun was king.

Mike

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Re: Hotel Congress: Tucson, Arizona

Postby MacPhantom » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:53 am

Oh man, I SOOOOOOO want a Tommy Gun!!!!!

Great pics and travel tales! :)

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Re: Hotel Congress: Tucson, Arizona

Postby Pumpkin_Man » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:59 am

You can still buy a Thompson, compoete with a drum magazine, but they are only leagal in the United States in the semi automatic version, and some individual states have a limit on how many bullets you can put in the mag.

I would love to have a 303 British. My brother has one of those. It's not an automatic or a semi automatic, but it's a well crafted, well made rifle.

Mike


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