Universal history of the Turpitude [I] | José Ramón Hernández Correa

The Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore

I believe that there is no doubt (and I write “believe”) in celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe as three more big architects of the 20th century. There are dozens of brilliant architects, and hundreds of extraordinary architects, but I believe that these three are another thing. At least in my opinion. I have mentioned them, in addition, in the order that they occupy in my affection and in my heart: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. It is more, already put, I help Bruno Zevi:’s affirmation:

“Frank Lloyd Wright is the biggest architect from the caverns”.

Nevertheless, these three most brilliant architects have also his dark zones, his monstrous turpitudes, and my autowell versed obligation is to count them here. Each of them committed more of one, but I am going to count only one of each one: do not be if the most vile. Maybe yes. I have to invoke that these heroes or are sanctified by it or one attacks them mercilessly, motivate for that his black points are never clearly few: Or they are hidden and even they refuse, or are amplified disproportionately. I will try to be an aim, though I have the sources that I have.

I believe that what I say is true in his set, though there is sure that many details trump me.

Today I will devote myself to the first one, whom always I have venerated, to whom I dedicated my doctoral thesis and wrote to him a novel (that you can unload) me to try to exorcize it (to take it from me of above) and to dismount him of the altar in which it had. (The bad thing is that the canalla lasts in the presidential armchair of my corazoncito regardless. It is like a limpet).

We go with the turpitude.

Albert Chase McArthur was the major one of three children of Warren McArthur, a successful businessman whose house Frank Lloyd Wright constructed in 1892, in Chicago. The boy grew admiring the brilliant architect. So much that he itself made to himself an architect, and it managed to work to the orders of his idol between 1907 and 1909.

In 1927, Chat and Warren McArthur, both brothers of Albert, bought an area at the foot of the Monte Camelback, near Phoenix (Arizona), and entrusted him the project of a hotel: The Arizona Biltmore. Albert put to work in the design of the building and decided to use the system of blocks of concrete that his teacher had created. It convinced his brothers in order that they were paying Wright for the rights of utilization of these blocks. Wright sold the rights for a wad, forgetting the small detail of which in his disastrous legal and financial situation they him had impeded everything what was capable of being impeded, including, certainly, this patent. But he is that, beside selling what was not his, since it did not have work appeared in Phoenix to helping Albert, without he had asked for it him. Albert already had the design of the finished building, and Wright got enthusiastic on having seen it.

Wright caracoleaba for the study with Olgivanna, hindering, reconsidering things that already were solved, annoying to the whole world until tht Charles, the brother of in the middle of the McArthur, and chief of the company Arizona Biltmore, asked him with the major tact to turn to his house, since his brother was been enough and one was exceeding to finish the details of the project.

Albert did the work with all his illusion, with all his soul, with so much love for his brothers as for his teacher Wright.

The Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore

The result was a very attractive work, with an air wrightiano unmistakably. “Less “inspired” and “less “magisterial” than Wright’s authentic works, but, in the end, the very worthy one relative of them.

The work was inaugurated 23-F of 1929. Immediately there appeared the attorney of the authentic owner of the patent of the blocks and a demand of forecast put them to the brothers, who had to return to pay for using the blocks. (I do not know if they asked Wright to return the money to them, but they were taking it clearly).

In any case, Wright did not return a dollar (it did not have it), but in exchange it proved to be so nice, so affectionate, so solicitous with his disciple, who when it saw the finished work said:

“It has stayed so badly as it was waiting”.

The Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore

Generous what! What a way of returning love and fondness!

Albert was adoring him, and his wife had become very a friend of Olgivanna. In exchange, Wright was joking of the woman and of the son of Albert providing that it could.

But let’s return to the hotel.

Though it is necessary to admit that the Arizona Biltmore is blunter than Wright’s buildings, it seems so much that from the first moment it caused confusion. In several magazines, and even in two books, it worked out published as Wright’s work.

Even though Albert McArthur tried to demonstrate the authorship of the project showing that it was taking his signature, the people ended up by saying that Wright was so impeded and chased that it could not sign legally, but that the design was his actually.

Though it is a slightly sluggish work to be of Wright, it would be the masterpiece of any medium architect (I would be more than hyperlovely if I was his author). Because of it, Albert asked Wright to undo definitively the misunderstanding and that was saying the one who was the real architect of the Biltmore.

The Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore

Wright wrote to several magazines, to several architects’ associations and to several critics and journalists … not to clarify anything. He wrote to the Architectural Record saying clearly that the work belong to Albert, but in other sites he was not saying it this way, and was insinuating this and the different thing…

Will he be a rabble? If he itself had said that the work was very bad! What type of envy had it? I don’t know. I cannot understand it.

Many years before also he had denied to Alfonso Iannelli the authorship of the sculptures of the Midway Gardens.. Always he was denying any merit to his collaborators. In case of Iannelli, though it is indisputable that the authorship belongs to the Italian, it is true that was working to Wright’s orders, following his indications and directives.

With the Midway I can deal even Wright’s position, which is unjust and lying, but I say that I can understand it because he initiated the design of the sculptures, and it directed the final work. (In my opinion Wright’s drawings are better than Iannelli’s sculptures). What I cannot understand is that in the Biltmore, in which it had not intervened by no means and which is very lower than his works, Wright puteara of such a way than his author.

Wright did not have orders, was crossing an economic situation and horrible personnel, and it could have the weakness of envying the money and McArthur’s success. I entendería to that, as a result of all that, I was setting this work to give birth, he was saying that it was an adulteration of his ideas, etc. But I cannot understand that he was saying that it was his (and at the same time as it was very bad). Boy looks like to me a child’s tantrum.

Albert Chase McArthur spent the life to himself fighting to demonstrate that the hotel was his. It suffered a heart attack and remained humbled during the last ten years of his life, dedicated to the study of the metaphysics, of the mathematics and of the theory of the color.

The brothers McArthur enjoyed his hotel only three years. The Great Depression ordered them to California. The hotel continued in other hands, burned, was restored, etc. Today, curiously, it is adorned by replies of Iannelli’s sculptures. What things.

McArthur died in 1951. Frank Lloyd Wright ordered a letter his widow in the one that was saying:

“I always said that Albert was the architect of the Biltmore. But he it was for me, and I was more architect than he, and you should know it”.

It did the same type of nice observations in Albert’s funeral, and Charles McArthur (the brother of in way) approached him, gave up a tremendous punch in the face and it him threw at the soil.

Since in the movies that we saw of children, desire give one of putting in foot and applauding. Already it was time of that someone him was handling the knobs to this rascal.

The Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore

José Ramón Hernández Correa
PhD Architect and author of Arquitectamos locos?
Toledo · mayo 2012

(If you consult the web page of the Biltmore, which link I have put before, you will see that they there continues being fallen the slobber with which it is a building influenced by Wright. They show clearly Albert McArthur’s authorship, but the shade of the teacher continues being heavier).

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