Seniors Awed by the Arizona Biltmore

The Arizona Biltmore Hotel is world famous. While Frank Lloyd Wright was NOT the principal architect, it is said that his “DNA is all over the building”. The 200 foot long lobby, with its guilded ceiling is said to be second only to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. This senior has learned a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright through my work as a guide at Taliesin West,  which was FLW’s home base and school of architecture in Scottsdale, Arizona from 1932 till his death in 1959.

FLW had built four homes in California in the LA area using a concrete textile interlocking block and the McArthur brothers would be using 250,000 of this style block (my wife says it looks like a magnificant prison).  While Wright was on site as a consultant only four months, it is evident that his skills were crucial to its design.

Biltmore’s Story Intrigues Senior Visitors

Albert Chase McArthur, the Biltmore’s chief architect was one of FLW’s former students. Along came the great depression and McArthur and his two brothers, who were financing the construction, lost the hotel. Wm Wrigley Jr. purchased the hotel and went on to build the Wrigley Mansion on a nearby hill for $1.2M… right in the heart of the depression.

The Mansion now operates as a private club with meeting facilities. Great place for lunch or dinner, but take valet parking at the top or seniors will be climbing over a hundred steps to get to the restaurant. The tour of the Mansion with it 24 rooms, 12 bathrooms, and over 16,000 square feet is most interesting. In 1989 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Biltmore Hotel has 438 rooms on 39 acres. Every president has stayed there since it’s construction and today it rates very high with all senior visitors. During its construction it was 8 miles outside of Phoenix. It is said that White Christmas, by Irving Berlin, was written on the site.

The Biltmore seems to have it “all together” including a championship golf course, a 22,000+ square foot spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants, and a variety of amenities that await senior visitors. Experience the unrivaled grace of this timeless treasure. Wikipedia enlightens every aspect of the Biltmore. Everywhere you look there is beauty…a fountain here, ivy covered cottage there, palm trees, relaxing spa and pools, and exciting bars and restaurants offering delicious food and beverages.

This area has become nationally and internationally renowned for its real estate. As you drive in you will see some fabulous homes on both sides of the access. Reproductions of the geometric ‘sprite’ statues, originally designed by sculptor Alfonfo Ionelli for Wright’s 1915 Midway Gardens project in Chicago, are placed around the property. Also, the original hotel solarium of 1929 was converted to a restaurant in 1973 and since the mid-1990s has been named ‘Wright’s’.

The Biltmore should be on your “bucket list” if you visit the Valley and plan on dinner at “Wrights.” jeb




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