Wright Chat

 
FAQ FAQ Register Register
Search Search Profile Profile
Memberlist Memberlist Log in to check your private messages Log in to check your private messages
Usergroups Usergroups Log in Log in

>> Return to SaveWright Home Page

Ocatillo Desert Camp

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jackmax



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:54 pm    Post subject: Ocatillo Desert Camp Reply with quote

I'll be in Phoenix soon, is there any reason to stop by the old site of this camp? Storrer says there's "still evidence" of FLW there, but who knows how old that info is. Anyone have any ideas???
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Robert Nichols
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:06 am    Post subject: Ocatillo Camp Reply with quote

Storrer's description of "some evidence" was likely written in the early 1970's for the first edition of his catalog. I found the approximate location of the camp in September 1996, using Storrer's map and viewing 1920's photos to align with the more unchangable features of the mountains (Phoenix South mountains viewed from their South face) in the back ground of the photos.

The area is totally obliterated with suburban spawl that appears to have developed in the mid-'80's. There is no trace of the camp left.

Unfortunately, suburban sprawl is obliterating much of the Sonoran Desert.



There is much to see in Valley of the Sun though. I stayed at the Biltmore and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was fun piecing together its history through the old photos on the walls in the main building. Of note are a few photos near the door to the restaurant's terrace that show Wright's long gone Rose Pauson house perched on its rise to the east of the Biltmore circa 1940.

Enjoy your trip.
Back to top
Curious
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:28 pm    Post subject: Biltmore Reply with quote

Is FLW the Biltmore architect? Or not? Or was a "helper"?



Thank you.
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Biltmore Reply with quote

Curious wrote:
Is FLW the Biltmore architect? Or not? Or was a "helper"?



Thank you.


He was not the architect. He was hired as a technical consultant on the fabrication of textile type block. He may have contributed to the design, but that does not make him the architect.
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Biltmore Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Curious wrote:
Is FLW the Biltmore architect? Or not? Or was a "helper"?



Thank you.


He was not the architect. He was hired as a technical consultant on the fabrication of textile type block. He may have contributed to the design, but that does not make him the architect.


That was me. I forgot to log in. Sorry.
Back to top
pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2211
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Biltmore Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Curious wrote:
Is FLW the Biltmore architect? Or not? Or was a "helper"?



Thank you.


He was not the architect. He was hired as a technical consultant on the fabrication of textile type block. He may have contributed to the design, but that does not make him the architect.


That was me. I forgot to log in. Sorry.


I apologize for the bumbling this morning with logging in.
_________________
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rgrant
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would place Ocatillo near the top of FLW's entire catalogue of work. What a wonderful flight of fancy it was! Pauson was also great; Wright at his very best. Some years ago, an article about the late Diana Vreeland in GQ included a photograph from her brief career as a model taken on the terrace at the bedroom end of the house in color! Since color photography was introcuded in 1939 and the house burned to the ground in 1941, that was a short window of opportunity. I wonder if there are any other photographs of this lost treasure in color?
Back to top
Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1437
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago I heard that a builder had moved the stone remains of the Pauson house and put them to use as the gateway to a new tract. I don't know where it is, though.



Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
rgrant
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A new freeway went through the original site of Pauson, so a chunck of the house that contained the living room fireplace was moved to the entrance to the division where Adelman and Boomer are located on land owned by the hotel.
Back to top
sjsissjs



Joined: 15 Dec 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Crestline, California

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This won't help with the visit last January, but the Ocatilla Camp site does indeed still exist, albeit in a rather bastardized fashion west of I-10 in Chandler. It's completely surrounded by development on Mountain Vista Drive not quite a quarter-mile west of south 32nd Street, but you can see it through a fence that fronts onto Mountain Vista. I gather that the site is off limits as houses abut all sides even though there is a small opening into the compound between a couple of the houses, and I haven't tried to enter the site. There is no marker at the site as far as I can tell.



I visited the Camp site many times before the building began; as late as the early '90s it was still in fairly open desert and you could walk around it at will. There was quite bit more than "still evidence" of the site's existence: the stone footings outlining the entire camp were still there, along with a few wooden stakes of the structure, and a whole lot of camp detritius could be seen. The site was studied extensively prior to the beginning of development so the developers must have felt it necessary, or have been told, to keep the site somewhat intact. It must have been quite a special place in 1929.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1383

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. It's hard to imagine any trace of the camp in existence in that "environment".



Can one assume from the post the remains of the site were, in fact, at some point and surveyed, studied, etc? If so, by who? I have never seen any other information about this.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 1000
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sjsissjs wrote:
The Ocatilla Camp site does indeed still exist, albeit in a rather bastardized fashion west of I-10 in Chandler. It's completely surrounded by development on Mountain Vista Drive not quite a quarter-mile west of south 32nd Street, but you can see it through a fence that fronts onto Mountain Vista.

The site was studied extensively prior to the beginning of development so the developers must have felt it necessary, or have been told, to keep the site somewhat intact. It must have been quite a special place in 1929.


I can't verify the present status of the site, but, I believe former Taliesin apprentice Vern Swaback designed the housing development which now surrounds the former site of Ocatilla. Some years ago he told me that the hilltop had deliberately been left inviolable.

However, Bruce Pfeiffer and I visited Ocatilla in the mid-60's, before the I-10 freeway was constructed, when it was impossible to reach the site without going through downtown Chandler, ten miles to the east. For miles around there was nothing but open desert and irrigated fields.

If evidence of the camp exists it is because wherever the wood-board walls surrounding the compound were constructed, a few inches of rocky soil had been disturbed. After the walls were finished, that disturbed soil was shoveled against the base of the walls, thus leaving a tell-tale trace. It was possible for us to walk around the entire site and locate where each structure had been built.

Look at the plans of Ocatilla and you'll see a peculiar hexagonal form to the far north of the site, just beyond the walls, where the contour lines narrow. Always curious as to what that form represented, I deliberately went to see for myself ... and found a shallow excavation, where the soil had been disturbed. We didn't do any digging, but I strongly suspect that the form was dug as a trash pit for refuse from the nearby kitchen.

The one aspect of the compound that didn't reveal its presence in disturbed ground was the seating area and fire pit, which the plan places on top of the hill. I'm not sure if that part of the design was ever built.

Found scattered here and there on the hillside were a few small chunks of the experimental concrete blocks for the hotel project, but we left everything in place. Larger chunks of the block were (and probably still remain) at Taliesin in Wisconsin, and I didn't feel any need to further pillage the site. However, I returned a year or two later with friends from San Francisco to find every concrete chip gone. Who knows where they are today.

However, the *real* mystery was not in locating Ocatilla, but in finding the hotel site. Now that took doing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3558
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rood.
I've been enjoying your posts, you bring a new perspective to many "oft told tales". The following is a link to a thread on the 1920's camp from a couple of years ago:

http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?t=2612&highlight=ocatillo

In the thread is a recent pic of the site. Swaback's involvement with the planning of the development answers the question I had as to why the camp site was left alone when the surrounding area was all but obliterated by streets, houses, and irrigation.

If you would, please share with us the search for the San Marcos site.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 1000
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DRN wrote:
Rood.
The following is a link to a thread on the 1920's camp from a couple of years ago:

http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?t=2612&highlight=ocatillo
If you would, please share with us the search for the San Marcos site.


Ah, thanks for the link, DRN. It seems I've repeated a few facts, but, as my presence here is fairly new, I'm slowly working my way through the voluminous threads, starting with the most recent, but also with the oldest. Inevitably, and for a certain amount of time, a huge number of discussions between the newest and oldest will remain unknown to me.

Having visited Ocatilla in the 60's, when the site existed almost as though the buildings had just disappeared, I've never had the courage to return to see its present day configuration, ravaged as it has become by the housing development. I'm grateful the site wasn't bulldozed, as could easily have been done, but just seeing the photographs is painful. A similar development near where I live bulldozed house pads into all sides of a small hillock not unlike the site of Ocatilla, except that this one was even more beautiful, with incredible rock outcroppings to give it character. Builders never seem to learn.


As for San Marcos-in-the Desert ... perhaps a thread exists somewhere for that project, too. Does anyone know? I'd rather not repeat things previously stated. A computer "Search", found only dozens of references. A general index might help sort things.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2306
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would love to see a thread dedicated into the San Marcos project. Just sayin.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Protected by Anti-Spam ACP