Psycho Building Downtown Phoenix
Photo by Classic Film/Flickr Commons

From its cameo in “Psycho” to the ill-fated Hotel Monroe, the historic downtown building that once housed Valley National Bank has transformed yet again.

Now inhabiting the high-rise featured in the opening scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 thriller is the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown.

The hotel on Central Avenue and Monroe Street opened under its new name on Dec. 18, 2015, after a few years of redesign and development guided by the Minneapolis-based CSM Corp. The company purchased the long-vacant building in 2013 and is now focused on making it the first choice in hotel accommodations for business travelers staying in the downtown Phoenix area.

Before its reincarnation under the Hilton name, it was known as the project-interrupted Hotel Monroe and, interimly, as the Professional Building in the years between its identity as the Valley National Bank and the failed Monroe development.

Picking up where Hotel Monroe’s developers left off, CSM partnered with the Hilton hotel brand to recruit architects and historic consultants to preserve the integrity of the iconic building and keep its designs as close as possible to the glamour of its Art Deco influence.

The newly minted Hilton Garden Inn features the building’s original marble floors, bronze elevator doors, wrought iron details and a grand lobby with restored columns and marble touches.

Modern features now include complimentary Wi-Fi in the Hilton’s 170 guest rooms, granite countertops and three-jet body showers in guest room bathrooms; event space to accommodate up to 200 guests; a restaurant and lobby bar; a round-the-clock pantry for snacks and drinks; and 24-hour business and fitness centers.

The Hilton’s prime location in the heart of Phoenix’s entertainment, financial and government districts places it in proximity to some of city’s most popular landmarks — the Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Center) among them.

The 12-story skyscraper has seen many seasons since it opened by the Valley National Bank in 1932. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 and remains a distinguishable landmark in the Valley. Alongside the Luhrs Tower and the Orpheum Lofts — both of which were also seen in the movie “Psycho”  —  the building is one of just a handful of remaining Phoenix structures created in the Art Deco style that became globally popular between 1920 and 1940.

Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown, 15 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | (602) 343-0006

– Suzanne Wilson, Phoenix.org