A question for Mr. Harding Re: AZ Biltmore

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DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

A question for Mr. Harding Re: AZ Biltmore

Post by DRN »

Did you happen to look carefully at the black and white period photos of the Biltmore displayed throughout the public spaces? There are one or two photos which clearly show the Pauson house pre-fire in the distance to the east of the hotel. The balconies at the east end of the east/west corridors of the upper floors of the main building would have had excellent views of the Pauson house. I gained a new respect for this lost work in these photos having seen it in the context of it's little hill in the open desert with the larger hills and mountains beyond.



I had the pleasure of attending a Lodging Industry conference there in Fall '96,'97, and '98, and booked a room each time in the original portions of the building. I agree Wright's hand is evident in the original bulding. I particularly enjoyed taking a break between sessions at the seating areas on the mezzanine above the lobby. The lighting, the sound of water, and the scale had the effect of both calming and re-energizing me.



Thanks for jogging my memory.

pharding
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
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Post by pharding »

The black and white photos are wonderful. They show the building under construction; as it existed originally; in use at various points in time; celebrities and presidents having fun there. I was originally located in the newest wing while the hotel was fully booked. Two nights later I was able to transfer to the original wing with a second floor room with a view of the mountains. What a great way to experience the hotel. It was a privilege to be in such a great timeless work of art. It was so much better than predictable fake historic hotels that are everywhere.



I was at the hotel for an AIA Knowledge Assembly. The hotel was perfect for that function. I am the chair of the national advisory group for the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture. There were great meeting rooms for a 150 person group assembly plus numerous really cool and inspiring places for our committee to meet indoors and out. We met mostly outdoors on terraces. One really cool obscure place to meet and/or sit and think is the third floor terrace on the main facade of the building. The bar's terrace on the great lawn with a view of the mountains is a close second. The two main pools are also great. Plus the cafe's outdoor terrace is really fine. Plus the hexagonal meeting is really beautiful. The humble concrete block is like the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is always with you indoors and outdoors. The color of the block is absolutely beautiful. It matches the color of the mountains. What a great hotel.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

The third floor terrace is a nice place, particularly in the cool of the evening. A great place to watch the city lights and the stars. The copper downspouts from the main roof to the third floor terrace have the intricacy of FLLW add just the right amount of fine detail.

The concrete block exterior fireplace on the dining terrace made the atmosphere on fall evenings.

I can see how the well-to-do of the 30's, 40's, and 50's chose to spend winter vacations there.

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