Built in 1905 by the prolific first female architect of the west, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Hopi House is a National Historic Landmark that has been selling authentic Native American Crafts for over one hundred years! At the time of her hire for the Fred Harvey Company in 1904, Mary Colter had an appreciation for Native Architecture, and while she was directed to construct a structure to sell Native crafts, she wasn’t given specification as to how the building was to turn out. The result was an as authentic as possible structure to the Hopi dwellings similarly found in Oraibi. With one exception: the entrance is a traditional doorway instead of a roof hatch, as to allow easier access to the building for visitors.\
Everything else falls under Mary Colter’s insane attention to detail. Visitors inside the building will find corner fire places, that are assembled with broken shards of pottery, and clay covered saplings, as well as the usual stone. But she stuffed something is just about every corner she could, as you explore, keep an eye out for Kachina dolls tucked into niches.
To add to the authenticity, Hopi builders were employed to assist in it’s construction, and in it’s early years, Hopi craftsmen would live in the upper floors, where they would make some of the crafts sold below. In modern days, the upper floors are used for administration, storage, and during the Artist in Residence programs, housing for the artists.
Be sure to stop by to catch an intricate look at history, and perhaps pick up a few crafts for the folks back home.