02. Ocatilla Desert Camp

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    Ocatilla Desert Camp, 1929
    Architectual Drawing of Ocatilla Desert Camp












    Rather than pay to house his entourage in apartments, Wright decided to design and build a camp for the winter to plan the new hotel.  The camp, named Ocatilla, was located at the site for the hotel.  Wright designed the camp himself in a day, and within days the small buildings, modeled on tenthouses, were erected.  The buildings had low wooden walls with canvas roofs angled to catch the desert sun and harmonize with the mountain landscape.  Wright likened the camp to a fleet of sails on the desert, and photos like the one right were published in architectural journals worldwide.  Wright’s team built the camp in January of 1929 and lived there through May.  By the end of their stay, the Midwesterners were dealing with Arizona heat, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and scorpions and were ready to leave Ocatilla. 



    "Cueball" Kelly sits in the darfting studio at Ocatilla Desert Camp, 1929

    While at Ocatilla, Wright’s draftsmen worked on drawings for the new hotel, which was to be named the San Marcos in the Desert.  The draftsmen worked in buildings furnished with canvas chairs, cots, and Navajo rugs.  In the photo left , draftsmen work on the drawings for the hotel.  “Cueball” Kelly, in the foreground at left, stares thoughtfully into the distance. 





    ♦Exhibit Home 03. San Marcos of the Desert ►


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