Frank Lloyd Wright
12½ × 9 × 13½”
Though the extent of Wright’s involvement with this project remains unclear, the Arizona Biltmore Hotel and Cottage complex is generally recognized as a collaboration between Wright and Albert Chase McArthur, a former draftsman in Wright’s Oak Park studio.
McArthur, who is responsible for the main design of the hotel, called on Wright to provide engineering expertise, paying him $10,000 for the rights to use the concrete block system that he employed in several Los Angeles houses. The “Biltmore Block” Wright designed features a geometric pattern that is said to represent a freshly cut palm tree. McArthur’s modifications to the design, combined with the contractors’ unwillingness to test unconventional building methods, led Wright to declare that the finished building was “even worse” than he had feared. However, the Aztec Room and cottages reveal Wright’s design hand with few or no adjustments. —Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation