Monday, December 22, 2014

Monorail Below!



How about this April 1979 overhead shot? I am digging the side-by-side view of the Monorial and The PeopleMover.

Uh oh…yawning? Not good! Don't let this cast member work any of the controls. This could result in a safety hazard!



Zooming into the upper left hand area of the photo, you get a SECOND Monorail. This photo is just chock full of Tomorrowland-goodness!



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Sunday, December 21, 2014

More Arizona Biltmore



The right nighttime lighting can truly be transformational. The Arizona Biltmore Hotel is beautiful during the day, but add in a dark blue sky, dramatic lighting, and a huge Christmas tree and you really have something spectacular.



The ominous clouds and pink hues of sunset perfectly frame the back patio area.



This little sculpture shown below has a most interesting history. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and sculpted by Alfonso Iannelli, this Sprite was one of many created for Chicago's Midway Gardens in 1914. The Gardens went out of business and in 1929 all was bulldozed into Lake Michigan; fortunately a few of the Sprites were saved. Shipped to Taliesin West in Phoenix, they were restored and recast, with eight being sent to The Arizona Biltmore. This one resides near the pool.



These two can be found at the back of the hotel:



I spent a lot of time photographing the pool at night, too.



I ALMOST wished I had a tripod (I really despise them, as they make on-the-spot shots very difficult and take too much time to set-up), but instead used nearby objects for steadying the camera for the required long exposures.



The balcony view from my room, showing a different pool:



The nighttime lighting also brings out the contrast in sculptor Emry Kopta's concrete Biltmore blocks, used all over the property:



Sunrise at the property is pretty impressive, too.



My early morning swim in the heated pool felt fantastic. What a way to wakeup!



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Saturday, December 20, 2014

House Without A Cause



It's not surprising that this home located near Hollywood Boulevard doesn't look very familiar; even though it can be seen in one of the most classic 1950's melodramas, it was relegated to the background. At the beginning of "Rebel Without A Cause," a drunken Jim Stark (James Dean) can be seen laying down on the street playing with a toy monkey.



The house in the background is none other than the one you see here.



One of these days I'll try to match the shot at night; first I'll need to find the toy monkey.



This fence which was once on display at the now defunct James Dean Gallery in Fairmount, Indiana was also seen in "Rebel":



A closeup of the display which shows the scene with James Dean and Sal Mineo that turned this plain old wooden fence into something that was museum quality:



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Friday, December 19, 2014

Picking the Wright Hotel



Part of my making-lemonade-out-of-lemons mindset involved staying at the Arizona Biltmore on a recent journey to Phoenix. For years, I had lived under the false impression that this massive hotel had been designed by my architectural idol, Frank Lloyd Wright. Au contraire, mes amis. Wright was hired as a consultant by Albert Chase McArthur, the actual architect on record for the hotel that opened in 1929. Part of the Hilton portfolio, the company does very little to discourage this misconception.



The above vintage photo is from February 1936.



Ads for the desert resort touted its warm weather during the winter months, along with its riding trails, golf course, and numerous pools.



These hand-tinted post cards show the natural beauty of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve that surrounds the hotel.



Approaching the hotel:



The entrance:



The Patio area:



One of the pools:



From the lens of my camera, you can see that the property was decorated for Christmas.



Note the topiaries that spell out "Arizona Biltmore."



The bellmen waiting for the next guest to arrive:





A very large panoramic view to tide you over until the next post about my visit to the Arizona Biltmore:



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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Saga Motel, Spring 1971



This spring 1971 image shows not only the iconic Harbor Boulevard Disneyland entrance sign...



but to the right, it features the Saga Motor Hotel.



The address of the Saga was 1650 Harbor Boulevard, which means it is now the Ramada Anaheim Maingate. This explains the tile artwork that could be seen on the back wall of one of the buildings there. The Saga had 100 rooms, a coffee shop, restaurant, cocktail lounge, gift shop, and travel service.

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