In the fall of 1929, Conrad Hilton began construction. Nineteen days later the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began, yet construction continued. On November 30, 1930, the Hilton Hotel opened.
At 239 feet (73 m) it surpassed the O. T. Bassett Tower to become the tallest building in El Paso; it is still the city's fifth tallest building. Designed by Trost & Trost, the hotel is an Art Deco styled 19-story reinforced cast-in-place concrete structure with setbacks at the 16th and 17th floors. It is faced with brown brick and concrete and crowned with a Ludowici clay tile pyramidal roof. The exterior remains largely unaltered from its original form.