Los Gatos-Santa Cruz Local History Tidbit: Old Hotels

I think my current fascination with old hotels probably had its roots in my childhood.

Growing up in Los Gatos, I distinctly remember the Lyndon Hotel on the corner of

Santa Cruz & Main Streets. When I began high school, the hotel was mysteriously demolished. I had no idea why this occurred & still don’t know. In researching history in the Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Santa Cruz Mountains, I am amazed how many truly grand hotels & resorts there once were.

Strangely, many old hotels were reported to have burned down. I am curious why that would be the case. Most old houses did not burn down (evidenced by the fact they are still standing!), but most hotels did. Why?

Another unanswered question I have has to do with the reporting of these events. The literature I have read usually states that a particular hotel burned down in 1910 or whatever, & never gives a cause of the fire, nor mentions how the parcel of land subsequently became city owned (in the case of the Capitola Hotel, once privately owned, now apparently City of Capitola turf). I would much prefer a beautiful, elegant hotel to what is on the parcel now (a lawn, some stairs, & some miscellaneous privately owned businesses), although I did read recently that something more interesting is being considered for the site, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what. debryman.com

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11 Responses to “Los Gatos-Santa Cruz Local History Tidbit: Old Hotels”

  1. Heather Scharnow Says:

    It is amazing how you assume “everything” has always been “there”. You don’t realize that there were whole towns that were dismantled to make new places. It’s very interesting to find out the history of our towns. Don’t you wish you could go back for just a day or two and look around and talk to the people. 🙂

  2. debsbeachblog Says:

    I am completely fascinated by what used to be wherever. The towns of Lexington and Alma were flooded to make Lexington resevoir.

    In the case of the Lyndon Hotel, “they” tore it down for no good reason – I don’t know if there was any public discussion at all or how it happened.

    I would love to just be able to travel back in time for a while – there is so much I would like to check out!

  3. Summer Ryman Says:

    You need to post a new blog.

  4. Deb Says:

    Check out my blog on Active Rain.

  5. debsbeachblog Says:

    Funny I posted that. Now there is drama on AR and I will probably be moving my content here. Never a dull moment!

  6. Sacramento Real Estate Voice Says:

    Deb,
    Great article. I love old hotels myself and have fond memories of yesteryear, too. I believe that the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz is still standing but under a different name. Thirty years ago, I use to take my kids there each Labor Day weekend and have some very fond memories.

    – Gena Riede

  7. alfred Says:

    hehe ..Summer you are funny – I like this blog its informative – keep the posts coming

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  9. Lew Istre Says:

    Dear Deb,

    I am happy to have found this information.

    Recently I was reminiscing with an old friend about our days at Los Gatos’ schools (circa 1950) and saw Hotel Lyndon pictured in the yearbook. I loved that place and, likewise, was perplexed over why it was torn down. My grandfather had stayed there while visiting us on Summit Road.

    Many thanks,

    Lew

  10. Ramona Says:

    Thanks for the info! One of my favorite Los Gatos hotels is The Toll House hotel. Great atmosphere and great hotel specials!


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