An abandoned Salinas hotel that once counted author John Steinbeck and many U.S. Presidents among its guests has been temporarily saved from the wrecker's ball. Monterey County Superior Court Judge John M. Phillips found that the city had failed to get an adequate environmental impact report before ordering the Cominos Hotel demolished. The downtown hotel, built in 1874 and modernized in 1919, was often visited and mentioned by Steinbeck, a Salinas native whose fiction won the Nobel Prize for literature. The hotel recently fell on hard times and the City Council voted in April to raze it for a parking lot, an office building and a museum dedicated to Steinbeck. The Monterey County Historical Society sued to save the hotel, arguing that the city's environmental document was deficient.