Imperial Hotel Entrance Hall and Lobby
Aichi-ken, Japan 1913
The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo was one of the largest and most elaborate commissions of Wright’s career. His structural innovations were unprecedented in Japan at the time and designed to minimize damage from earthquakes and fires. The hotel’s opening day coincided with the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that devastated Tokyo but caused only minor damage to the hotel. For decades it hosted elite travelers to Japan, but the effects of World War II bombings, subway construction under the hotel, deferred maintenance and the need for more rooms led owners to demolish the Wright-designed building in 1967-68. A portion of the hotel’s decorative Oya stone and other finishing materials were preserved and moved some 220 miles away to the Museum Meiji-Mura, where the entrance hall, lobby and reflecting pool were reconstructed and opened in 1985.
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