Frank Lloyd Wright and a New Vision for Chandler

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    04381.jpgDr. Chandler and Frank Lloyd Wright met in 1928 while Wright was in Phoenix consulting on the construction of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.  Chandler approached Wright with an idea for a grand hotel on land he owned in present day Ahwatukee.  The two met at a time Wright was struggling financially and was willing to visit the site Dr. Chandler described.  After exploring the desert location, Wright eagerly accepted the commission to plan a large hotel called the San Marcos in the Desert.  He set up camp with his team and family at the site the following winter, calling the camp Ocatilla, an intentional misspelling of the ocotillo plant which grew in abundance on the site.  Despite finishing the plans for the hotel, the stock market crash in October of 1929 forever doomed the building of the hotel.  In addition to the San Marcos in the Desert and camp Ocatilla, they planned several other projects in Chandler.  The projects included the San Marcos Water Gardens resort, the Little San Marcos in the Desert, a redesign of the San Marcos Hotel, houses for Owen D. Young, Wellington and Ralph Cudney, and Dr. Chandler, a camp at Chandler Heights Citrus Tract, and the Chandler block house, These projects amounted to a complete redesign of the town along Wright-inspired principles.  The only projects ever realized, however, were the construction of Ocatilla and the camp at Chandler Heights.  In 1935, Wright decided it was time to return to Arizona with his architecture students.  Dr. Chandler offered housing for them in La Hacienda, a former polo stable converted into a hotel.  Wright and his students spent two winters at La Hacienda in Chandler, spending most of their time developing the model of Broadacre City, Wright’s concept of suburban planning.  Wright was so inspired by his time in Chandler and his experience in the desert that he decided to build his home and architecture school in the foothills of the mountains, on a site reminiscent to that of the San Marcos in the Desert, called Taliesin West.


    Section 1: The Idea of a Hotel In the Unspoiled Desert

    Section 2: Ocatilla Desert Camp

    Section 3: San Marcos of the Desert

    Section 4: Textile Block Construction

    Section 5: The Cudney House

    Section 6: The Young House

    Section 7: The Little San Marcos of the Desert

    Section 8: San Marcos Water Gardens

    Section 9: Redesign of the Original San Marcos

    Section 10: Chandler Heights Citrus Camps

    Section 11: LaHacienda and Broadacre City


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