Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

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MOman2
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:32 am

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by MOman2 »

yech!

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by SDR »

Well . . . we win some, we lose some. Perhaps a costly future restoration will sweep away some of what's just now being installed at great expense ? I'm happy to be spared a look at "mosaics and stained glass in the style that Mr Wright made famous" !

We have to accept that it's a rare event when a qualified designer is commissioned by a less-than-knowledgeable owner, in a case like this one. And to think that someone from Taliesin West, so near at hand, might have been involved . . .

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by DRN »

Wow. That is remarkably awful.
The Biltmore over the last 20-25 years has maintained a vaguely Arts & Crafts and later, pieces not unlike the mild ArtDeco originals: a look that sat well with the building given its earthy warmth and clean lines. Each decoration era seemed to be supplemented with Warren McArthur’s original Wrightian-esque geometric welded black steel accessories.

This is furniture and decoration one might find in an aloft hotel by Marriott at an airport or highway interchange. The colors are a nonstarter. Even the random clustered LED box lights on the lobby ceiling are too “current cliche” and thus out of character. This is a historic hotel with a strong design that is its calling card. Why water that down? Speaking of water, the poolside stuff looks more Vegas than Biltmore.

juankbedoya
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:30 am

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by juankbedoya »

The question is: Is Arizona Biltmore hotel a true Wright work..? I knew that the true author was other architect and Wright worked for him someway.

DRN
Posts: 4044
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by DRN »

The Arizona Biltmore is a collaboration between Albert Chase Mc Arthur (architect), Wright, and Warren McArthur (furniture and decorative fixture and metal design). Wright was brought in to consult on the use of the textile block system, and he did so, but he also would appear to have influenced the design of some of the significant spaces in the building and the roof forms and details at those bits.

https://www.arizonabiltmore.com/about-t ... t-history/

https://franklloydwright.org/site/arizo ... re-resort/

In any case, the remaining original buildings are historically and architecturally significant, and should be treated with respect. While the proposed “restoration” is really just a furniture, lighting, and carpet replacement in the original portions, and appears to be reversible, its character is not in keeping with the original look and feel of the place. While it is true a high end resort needs to evolve to stay in tune to the desires of its clientele, a historic property has to carefully consider this type of work with respect to the original intent.

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by DRN »

Looking at the lobby alterations from a functional perspective rather than an aesthetic one, the changes might be more related to how guests currently use the space rather than how it looks.

The historic photos of the Biltmore lobby show groups of seating and occasional tables with lamps forming places for small groups of people to sit and have conversations within the larger room. The lobby of a hotel was at one time the “living room” or “meeting place” in a hotel and this method of furnishing achieved that end.

But is that how a hotel lobby is inhabited today? Do people sit in groups and converse over drinks with the piano being played in the background? If they sit and converse at all at the AZ Biltmore, it is more likely on the Squaw Peak terrace at the edge of the courtyard where there is a cover charge or the requirement to buy a libation. The lobby seating is configured to sit with one’s carry-on luggage and text on one’s phone while waiting for a room or a ride somewhere...there is no longer a need to face one another to talk. The proposed seating configuration reflects this.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by Roderick Grant »

Ten grand in 1929 = $152K today.

The Aztec room is the portion that I find most FLW-like. In fact, I would put money on it. The cottages don't have his scale, and if FLW had anything to do with their design, they were altered before construction. The tower by the entry also looks as if it was designed by FLW.

I first saw the Biltmore in the early 80s, before the first major remodeling. The last time I was there, in the mid-90s, so much had been done that its layout had become confused. Still the best hotel in Phoenix.

Rood
Posts: 1189
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by Rood »

Roderick Grant wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:38 am
Ten grand in 1929 = $152K today.

The Aztec room is the portion that I find most FLW-like. In fact, I would put money on it. The cottages don't have his scale, and if FLW had anything to do with their design, they were altered before construction. The tower by the entry also looks as if it was designed by FLW.
Yes, other than several small conference rooms, complete with fireplaces ... hidden upstairs along a long hallway. Hope the link works.

https://www.google.com/search?q=photos+ ... np39f60JoM

Randolph C. Henning
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Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Article: Restored Arizona Biltmore Hotel - Phoenix, AZ

Post by Randolph C. Henning »

Check out the 2014 Volume 2 Number 2 issue of the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design. This issue features both the facts and the puzzling mystery surrounding the Arizona Biltmore Hotel's design authorship: Was it Albert Chase McArthur? Was it Frank Lloyd Wright? Or was it a combination of both? To that mystery the issue offers insight and perspective by the actual players themselves. That, coupled with an assortment of never-before-published photos from the hotel's early years comes together in this informative and thought-provoking issue.

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