Built in 1874, the site was originally the city of Phoenix’s first school. Serving the community until 1916 where it was shortly exchanged to become one of the city’s most well-known hotels. Opening its doors on March 28th, 1928, Hotel San Carlos was often touted to hold the finest accommodations in the southwest; including the first high-rise in Phoenix with air conditioning. Less than two months of the hotel’s inception a young woman, Leone Jensen, checked in to her third-floor stay. Traveling across the country, Leone was on a journey to marry the man of her dreams, who, legend states, happened to be a bellhop at another hotel. Unfortunately for her, he no longer felt the love they once shared and this was something she could not bear. In the final hours of her second night, Leone drafted several letters on the hotel’s parchment addressed to a variety of suitors. Out of the many letters she had written, the lengthiest was directed towards an undertaker in Los Angelos stating requests and plans for her funeral.
“Bury me in my tan dress and tan high-heeled slippers,” she wrote.
“Organ music above all things. And can you arrange for two girls to sing, as I have never loved harmony, ‘Nearer My God to Thee.” Leone requested.
Good-by and good luck. Think of me kindly.” she signed.
Much later that evening, around 02:45AM, Leone made her way to the roof of Hotel San Carlos donning her evening gown. Gazing over central avenue she eventually stepped towards the edge, took one last step, thus plunging herself to the sidewalk below.
Hotel guests and passerby’s claim to see Leone repeat her dive from time to time, stating they’ve witnessed a woman in an evening gown on the roof. Other stories claim her lover was abusive and pushed her in a rage, some say the hotel was constructed over an ancient Hohokam village and the grounds were cursed from the very beginning.
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