Thursday, February 28

stuff we did AZ: arizona biltmore hotel

The Arizona Biltmore Hotel was originally constructed in 1929. Arizona's first destination hotel houses what was Maryilyn Monroe's favorite pool, and Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" is said to have been penned on the hotel grounds. It was owned for decades by the Wrigley Family (of Wrigley chewing gum), and Nancy and Ronald Reagan honeymooned there. Other celebrity visitors include Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and Ava Gardner and every American president since its construction.

Many believe the architecture to be the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, but it isn't. It was designed by one of his students, Albert Chase McArthur, though Wright oversaw some small projects at the request of the hotel owners. Super swanky and legendary-in-appearance, this one is fun to peruse. All the ceilings are gold-leafed and the lawns carefully manicured. The gardens are filled with Wright's signature favorite sculptures by Alfonso Ianelli, all pulled from Wright's Midway Gardens. I was an especially big fan of the cube-like cottages nested behind the hotel.

Cool construction fact: The Biltmore is constructed using "Textile Blocks," rectangular blocks imprinted with a stylized garden motif. The same design appears on several other buildings constructed by Wright. Hence the confusion, thanks to the motif and the "Wrightian" architecture and the Ianelli sculptures.



Ann Marie said...

I love the history you include for us. I like to know how a thing came to be. It's beautiful.

kellyr said...

You enjoyed some wonderful places in AZ—I didn't know it housed so many architectural splendors, whooo!

Brooke Romney said...

WE LOVE this spot too. Did you eat there? so delish!