The Hotel Congress is a historic building located in downtown Tucson, Arizona. It was built in 1919 in conjunction with the musical venue Rialto Theatre, which sits across the street. The rear of the building faces the historic Amtrak station, built by Southern Pacific in 1907. In addition to being a hotel, the Hotel Congress building also houses a restaurant, bar and music venue.
The Hotel is known for being the site of the capture of bank robber John Dillinger in 1934. After a series of bank robberies, the Dillinger Gang arrived in Tucson to hide out. On January 22, 1934, a fire started in the basement and spread up to the third floor, where the gang resided under aliases. After the desk clerk contacted them through the switchboard the gang escaped by aerial ladders. On the request of the gang, two firemen retrieved their luggage, identifying who they were. After being transferred to a jail in Crown Point, Indiana, Dillinger escaped again and was eventually shot down in Chicago, Illinois.
The Hotel Congress building was added to the National Historic Register in 2003. The Hotel Congress received a Fodor's Choice distinction in 2006 and again in 2008.
According to the National Registration listing, Alexander and William Curlett, Curlett and Son Architects of Los Angeles were the actual designers/architects. A newspaper article from the Arizona Daily Star, dated April 23, 1920, reported;
"A. E. Carlette (Curlett), architect of Los Angeles, was a visitor in Tucson yesterday stopping at the Santa Rita. Mr Carlette (Curlett) was the designer of the new Rialto Theatre and the Congress Hotel."
In early 1934 a fire destroyed the upper floor of the hotel, while John Dillinger and his gang were hiding out. Roy Place, local Tucson architect, rebuilt the upper floor in the same style as the original. An historic plaque on the south entrance of the hotel bears Place's name so it is often believed to be of his original design.(Wikipedia)