View of Hotel del Coronado's main entrance with neatly manicured lawns and two horse-drawn carriages parked out front; considered to be one of America's most beautiful resorts, the Hotel del Coronado is located on the quaint island of Coronado in San Diego. In 1885 founders Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story purchased the entire peninsula of Coronado and North Island for $110,000 and developed it through subdivision and lot sales; they also dreamed of building a seaside resort that would be "the talk of the Western world". Babcock and Story hired architects James, Merritt & Watson Reid who began construction of "The Del" in March 1887 and finished just 11 months later in February 1888 at the cost of one million dollars. The building, boasting of tall cupolas, red turrets, and gingerbread trim, was constructed in the form of a parallelogram and was built around an open court measuring 250x150 feet. A few interesting facts: it has 750 rooms; the dining hall is one of the largest and most elegant in the world, measuring 160x65 feet with a 33 foot high ceiling; it is elliptical in shape, and seats 1,000; breakfast room area is 4,800 feet; restaurant surface area is 2,500 feet; assembly hall area is 11,000 feet; observatory is 150 feet high; contained 4 bowling alleys; 30 billiard tables (4 of them for the ladies); 2,500 incandescent electric lights; total floor area is 7 1/2 acres; it was eventually wired for electric lamps by Thomas A. Edison, himself. In the 1880s prices ranged from $2.25 per day and upwards by the month, transients from $3.00 per day and upward, according to the room; as of late 2007 prices ranged from $325 to $810 for a single/double room, and from $700 to $4,900 for specialty rooms/suites. The Hotel del Coronado, known today as the Grand Old Lady by the Sea, is the largest beach resort on the North American Pacific Coast, spreading out over 31 acres. It was designated California Historical Landmark No. 844, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places - building #71000181 on October 14, 1971, and designated a National Historic Landmark on May 5, 1977.