Close-up view of Hotel del Coronado's lush courtyard, with numerous palm trees and greenery. 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 was constructed in the form of a parallelogram and was built around an open court measuring 250x150 feet. Although the hotel has 750 rooms, it is only two rooms in depth throughout, giving those on the 'inside' a view of this beautiful courtyard, while the others on the 'outside' face either the ocean or the peaceful blue waters of the bay of San Diego. The Del has become a living legend, visited by celebrities, dignitaries, and ten U.S. presidents, starting with Benjamin Harrison in 1891. One of the resort's most famous visitors was England's Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VIII. Many suspect that it was here that the Prince of Wales met Coronado divorcee Wallis Spencer Simpson; in 1936 King Edward VIII gave up his throne to marry Simpson. 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. 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.