El Dorado Kitchen + Hotel
405 1st Street West
This building is symmetrical. Do you see how the two sides look alike? Focus on the balconies across the front. El Dorado Kitchen + Hotel is on one side. The building looks like two buildings because it’s painted two colors.
El Dorado means “the Golden.” The owners thought it was a good name for a Gold Rush hotel. Like the Blue Wing Inn and Swiss Hotel, it was built with adobe bricks but now they’re covered up.
If a building could talk, this one could tell stories all day. Salvador Vallejo, Mariano’s brother, built it in the 1830s. It was one of the pueblo’s first business buildings. U.S. Army soldiers stationed here during the Mexican American War staged plays here to amuse themselves. Later it was a Gold Rush hotel. Then a college. In the 1870s, this building was the winery and home of a Frenchman named Camille Aguillon.