11. La Hacienda and Broadacre City

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    In the winter of 1935 Frank Lloyd Wright was looking to return to Arizona.  Wright’s wife, Olgivanna, disliked Wisconsin, and Wright himself remembered fondly his winter at Ocatilla.  Wright began searching for places in Arizona to spend the winter with his architecture students.  Dr. Chandler offered Wright housing in La Hacienda, a structure originally intended as polo stables, but converted into a hotel.  La Hacienda suited Wright because it offered ample room and outdoor space for Wright and his students to work.  Wright and his students spent the winters of 1935 and 1936 at La Hacienda before moving to their home at Taliesin West in Scottsdale.  The photo above shows the entrance and courtyard of La Hacienda.  The diagram below shows the layout of La Hacienda and its location in Chandler.

    While at La Hacienda, Wright and his students worked on developing the model for Broadacre City.  The model demonstrated Wright’s concept of ideal suburban development.  Wright’s vision called for families to be given an acre of land on which they would subsist.  Urbanization and mass transit were scaled back so as to be almost non-existent.  The automobile was emphasized, with a grid of arterial streets and superhighways connecting commercial development zones.  Students in the photos above and below work on a 12 foot by 12 foot scale model that represented the four square mile community.  Frank Lloyd Wright is visible leaning over the model wearing a beret to the right of the photo below.  Both photos are courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.


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