Friday, December 19, 2014

Picking the Wright Hotel

Part of my making-lemonade-out-of-lemons mindset involved staying at the Arizona Biltmore on a recent journey to Phoenix. For years, I had lived under the false impression that this massive hotel had been designed by my architectural idol, Frank Lloyd Wright. Au contraire, mes amis. Wright was hired as a consultant by Albert Chase McArthur, the actual architect on record for the hotel that opened in 1929. Part of the Hilton portfolio, the company does very little to discourage this misconception.

The above vintage photo is from February 1936.

Ads for the desert resort touted its warm weather during the winter months, along with its riding trails, golf course, and numerous pools.

These hand-tinted post cards show the natural beauty of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve that surrounds the hotel.

Approaching the hotel:

The entrance:

The Patio area:

One of the pools:

From the lens of my camera, you can see that the property was decorated for Christmas.

Note the topiaries that spell out "Arizona Biltmore."

The bellmen waiting for the next guest to arrive:

A very large panoramic view to tide you over until the next post about my visit to the Arizona Biltmore:

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K. Martinez said...

I've been so busy these days as most folks are during the season, but wanted to let you know I'm enjoying the architectural focus on your blog this this week. Great stuff! Thanks, Dave.

JG said...

What Ken Martinez Said.

Also, we stayed here a couple of years ago. Very interesting property. While Wright was not "Architect of Record" (legal term for responsible designer), there is no mistaking his characteristic imprint. Right down to the low ceilings. I smacked my head pretty good on the low-hanging beams in the mezzanine over the lobby.

I can imagine there were some interesting meetings between those two architects.

Our room was in the new "concierge wing" instead of one of the older wings with the tiny rooms. Not as historic, perhaps, but well done in a similar vernacular.

Thanks for these pictures, Dave. We will undoubtedly return to this fine hotel.