The Weatherford Residential Facility
Henry Taylor and Pamela “Sam” Green, proprietors of the Hotel Weatherford, have been preserving this historic landmark for over 30 years. An Arizona native, Henry Taylor, the Weatherford’s owner, was raised in the lodging business. His family owned Holbrook’s Brunswick Hotel, which became the Arizona Hotel and later the Arizona Rancho Motor Lodge in the late 1920s, when Route 66 came through town
In May 1975, Henry and his brother Lloyd purchased the Weatherford. At the time, they had a contract with the State of Arizona to house rehabilitation clients who were receiving physical therapy and job training. The Weatherford Residential Facility, which lasted 2 years, was eschewed by locals even though it served a positive niche in the community. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough money from the State contract; the hotel needed a different source of revenue.
The Taylors saw an opportunity in 1977, when the space that now houses Charly’s main dining room and the Exchange Pub became available. By 1981, the Taylors (now Henry and his wife Sam, who had bought out Lloyd) had remodeled the first floor and opened Charly’s Pub, which became a major entertainment venue in Flagstaff’s historic downtown district. The building served its original purpose until at least the 1930s, when it underwent the first of two modernizations. The first entailed adding stucco to the sandstone façade in a modified art-deco style. The second, in the 1950s, added aluminum siding. This building was known for some years as the Le Brea Café. Its façade was restored in 1995 to the appearance of the original 1909 Telephone Exchange. Its elegant simplicity and casual ambience is reminiscent of Flagstaff at its turn-of-the century heyday.
Another opportunity arose in 1978, when a local church decided to close its hostel for international travelers and asked Henry to take over this enterprise. He said yes, and European travelers started coming. They found the hotel’s character and its proximity to the bus station much to their liking — a link to the mythic west that was both accessible and affordable.
Hotel & Fine Dining
The 1990s marked a period of change for the Weatherford. In 1990, Sam and Henry decided to move into fine dining. They began upgrading their rooms and transitioning the hostel into a hotel. A few years later, the City began its improvements to downtown Flagstaff — a project that lasted 2 difficult years and restricted car and bike traffic. The hotel received neither relief nor compensation for this drain on its resources, and the next few years were a struggle. However, grant monies became available for restoring the Weatherford’s balconies. As a result, the Zane Grey Ballroom opened in February 1997; the barroom opened a few years later.