Submitted by Desert Star Construction

Built in 1934 as a school for girls and later transformed into a restaurant and lodge, El Chorro has a long history as an Arizona landmark and celebrity haunt dating back to Clark Gable and Milton Berle. Unfortunately, a year ago, this 11-acre property was suffering from significant wear and faced an uncertain future. New ownership set out to protect its character and history while making it more sustainable – and more relevant.

Photo:Mark Boisclair

The 150-seat restaurant now has a stunning indoor/outdoor bar, expanded patio, outdoor fireplace nooks and a modernized event facility. A carport topped with solar panels generates half of the LEED gold project’s power needs.

Original building materials were re-used, from roof tiles to beams to existing adobe walls, and 80% of construction waste was diverted from landfills.

Owner: Jacquie Dorrance
General Contractor: Desert Star Construction
Architect: Candelaria Design
Landscape Architect: Berghoff Design Group
Interior Design: Vallone Design
Engineers: Fleet-Fisher Engineering; PH Structural; Zee Engineering Group
Subcontractors: Efficiency Mechanical; Golka Electric; Quail Plumbing; Encore Steel; Distinctive Roofing; Sutter Masonry; USA Fire Protection; Saguaro Drywall; REC Solar; Levake Concrete