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to do with the Arizona Biltmore, the facts prove him wrong. Should this same guide see how splendidly the hotel’s latest restoration has turned out, even he might eagerly claim some of the credit.

Architect Albert Chase McArthur, once a draftsman for Wright, designed the hotel, with Wright serving as consulting architect. Precast concrete blocks, with exquisite detail and patterns, were molded on the site to build the resort, which was completed in 1929. For the next 44 years, the Wrigleys of chewing gum fame operated the hotel as a luxurious getaway for the rich and famous.

Times changed, and the Biltmore suffered through various owners and a disastrous 1973 fire that mandated extensive reconstruction under the design and supervision of Taliesin Associated Architects. In June of 1990, the present owner, Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, began the $20 million renovation that has turned the hotel’s public areas into grand models of understatement and elegance. Amid lavish floral gardens, some of Wright’s sculptures grace the grounds. A stained-glass window and assorted pieces of furniture (along with some excellent reproductions of mission furniture designed by Wright) adorn the main lobby.

Combined with extensive sports facilities, first-rate cuisine and a gracious staff, the Biltmore ranks as a literal oasis in the desert. It’s the grand climax to Frank Lloyd Wright’s odyssey in Arizona.


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