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Wright Studies

Jorgine Boomer Residence, Phoenix, Arizona (1953 - S.361)

     

  Introduction    Frank Sinatra    Lucius Boomer Residence (1947-52)    George Clark Cottage (1951)  
  Boomer Presentation Drawing    Boomer (1954)    Boomer Floor Plan    Light Screen    Boomer (1955) 
  Boomer (1956-7)    Boomer (1963)    Boomer (1973-5)    Boomer (2004)    Boomer (2014)    Bibliography 

     

Introduction

Lucius M Boomer was one of the most well known and successful hoteliers of the early twentieth century. Not only was he the Chairman of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Corporation, he owned and managed high end hotels in Washington D. C., Philadelphia, Boston, as-well-as the original and current Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
       He was born in New York on August 22, 1878. He managed a number of hotels, and by 1918, at the age of 39, he was president of the Boomer-duPont Properties Corporation, owning and managing the McAlpin and the Claridge Hotels. That year they assumed control and management of the Waldorf-Astoria. The December, 1922 issue of Hotel Monthly reported, "Mr. Boomer moved his headquarters to the Waldorf-Astoria, which is now the head center of the Hotels System, which include the Waldorf-Astoria and Woodstock Hotels, the Apartments and Cafe Savarin in New York; the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia and the Willard in Washington... He continued as a Director for the McAlpin." In 1925 Boomer authored the groundbreaking book "Hotel Management: Principles and Practice" Harper & Brothers, New York and London.
       Jorgine Slettede was born on August 18, 1887 in Norway. In 1903, at the age of 16, she and her older sister immigrated to the United States, finally arriving at their Uncles farm in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She eventually became a student nurse and then

  was admitted to Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. In 1915, she married Richard Sloane, one of the faculty members at Columbia. Six months later she was widowed.
       In September, 1920 Lucius and Jorgine were married, which became a partnership at the Waldorf-Astoria, he as manager and she as hostess. The original hotel was torn down to make way for the Empire State Building, but the Boomers retained ownership of the name. In 1931 the new Waldorf-Astoria opened on Park Avenue.
       They became personal friends with many of the residencies and guests of the hotel: Presidents Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower, Benny Goodman, Charlie Chaplin, along with many dignitaries. They were also instrumental in giving Frank Sinatra one of his first gigs.
       In 1945, Jorgine Boomer served as a technical advisor for the film, "Week-End at the Waldorf", a remake of the original "Grand Hotel," 1932, an adaptation of the Vicki Baum novel "Menschen im Hotel."
       Full circle. The Boomer property bordered the Arizona Biltmore. She most likely purchased the property because of its proximity to the Biltmore. In 2013, the Arizona Biltmore was acquired by the Waldorf Astoria.
     

 

  Lucius M. Boomer, State Archives of Florida.   Jorgine Boomer.
     
Ad for L. M. Boomer. Hotel Management, December 1922.
 
"Week-End at the Waldorf", 1945. Jorgine Boomer served as a technical advisor on the film.
Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
 
 
 

Lucius Boomer House, Redesign of the Rose Pauson Residence (Project 1947 - 52)

During the early part of 1947, the Boomers contact Frank Lloyd Wright to design a re-build of the Pauson House, his first residential commission in Arizona, which had burned in 1943. But during a trip to Norway in June of 1947, Lucius died suddenly on the 25th from a heart ailment. This left Jorgine in charge of   the Waldorf-Astoria. Over the next few years, Jorgine continued to make changes to the Pauson re-design. Working drawings were prepared and signed as late as 1952. But she had a change of heart, and decided against rebuilding the home, and purchasing the property from Rose Pauson.
     

Rose Pauson Residence, Phoenix, AZ, circa 1940, before being destroyed by fire.

 
 
 

George O. Clark Cottage "Sun Bonnet" for Carmel, California (Project - 1951)

In 1951, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a cottage for George O. Clark, for a site on the beach in Carmel, California.
       "In late summer 1951, when Mr. Wright brought his first sketch for the George Clark residence into the drafting room. With me (Milton Striker) in the studio that summer were chief draftsman Jack Howe, structural engineer Mendel Glickman, and apprentice John Rattenbury. (Written by Milton Striker.)
       "Wright's thumbnail sketch of the Clark residence was playing card size on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper and the images are forever imprinted on my mind. The building site is located on the Carmel, California coast and John Rattenbury suggested that the image looked like a whale breaching...
       "As Jack Howe's preliminary design progressed, the design object looked more and more like a cottage, yet it still resembled a whale...
       "The name 'Sun Bonnet' was applied to the Clark Cottage
  after I left the Fellowship. The project was not built and the design later appears as the Boomer Residence in Phoenix (S.361, 1953). The design was modified to the new client's needs and the house was shaded from the desert sun by its 'bonnet.' Whether derived from a 'whale or of a 'sun bonnet', each project takes a metaphorical approach to organic... It is worth noting that the Clark preliminary drawings were finished while the construction work was being completed for the Unitarian Church (S.291, 1951) at Madison. Did the Unitarian Church design influence the Clark Cottage design? There are similarities. Architecture is evolutionary, with design influenced and refined sequentially from project to project." "Design Through Abstraction," Stricker, Milton,. 2007, pages 49-51.
       Although the home was never built by George Clark due to lack of funds, two years later it was resurrected by Wright and built as the Jorgine Boomer Residence.
     

"Seaside Cottage for George O. Clark, Carmel, California. Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect.
Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation."
 
"Seaside Cottage Elevations for George O. Clark, Carmel, California. West, North and South Elevations.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect." Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
 
Detail: Seaside Cottage Elevations for George O. Clark, Carmel, California. West, North and South
Elevations. Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect. Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
 

Floor plan for the George O. Clark Seaside Cottage, Carmel, California. Adapted by Douglas M. Steiner.

 
The preliminary drawings for the Clark cottage were finished during the completion of the Unitarian Meeting House at Madison.
     
     
     
Jorgine Boomer Presentation Drawing (1953)
"Desert Cottage for Jorgine Boomer. Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect."
Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
 
 
 

Jorgine Boomer Residence - "The Natural House" (1954)

About the time that Jorgine Boomer opted for a smaller residence instead of rebuilding the Pauson residence, George Clark decided against building his cottage on the Carmel coast. Not to let a good design go to waste, Wright erased Clark's name and replaced it with "Desert Cottage for Jorgine Boomer." He presented the plans to Boomer, and she agreed. He rotated the home 180 degrees, facing Northeast away from the sun's heat, with sweeping views of the Piestewa (Squaw) Peak (yes, it was visible from the property at the time the home was built).
       Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, "The Usonian house, then, aims to be a natural performance, one that is integral to site; integral
  to environment; integral to the life of the inhabitants. A house integral with the nature of materials - wherein glass is used as glass, stone as stone, wood as wood - and all the elements of environment go into and throughout the house." The Natural House, Wright, 1954, p. 134.
       As late as 1952, Boomer was moving toward the reconstruction of the Pauson Residence. It wasn't until 1953 that the decision was made to modify and build the Clark design. Taking into consideration time for modifying the Clark plans, completing the Boomer working drawings, and the construction of the home, it was finished in time... Continue...
     

 
 
 
Jorgine Boomer Residence - Floor Plan (1954)
Floor plan for the Jorgine Boomer Cottage, Phoenix, Arizona. Published in "The Natural House," 1954. (Courtesy of Horizon Press, New York and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.)
 
 
 
Jorgine Boomer Residence - Light Screen
Perforated light screens, which run along the west side of the home, provide privacy and allow natural light into the Dining Room and Kitchen of the Jorgine Boomer Cottage, Phoenix, Arizona. Adaptation by Douglas M. Steiner.
 
 
 
Jorgine Boomer Residence (1955)
Published in Time Magazine, July 25, 1955. Caption: "Sunbonnet Roof, for comfortable desert living, was designed by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright to protect this Phoenix house from glare and heat." The Benjamin Adelman Residence can be seen in the background.
 
 
 
Jorgine Boomer Residence (Circa 1956)
Jorgine Boomer Residence Circa 1956. Set of four photographs. Image 1: A rare color photograph showing the natural colors of wood and stone used in the Boomer residence. The row of plantings on the left were approximately 1-2 feet in the 1954 image number 4, published in "The Natural House". They are now approximately 3 feet tall, and in full bloom. The larger tree on the left, has also gained 2-3 feet which appears on the far right in the 1954 image. This image also shows the original second floor, before the expansion of the south end. The walls are   constructed of natural red desert stone set in concrete. First floor: The walled Lanai is on the far left, the Dining Room and Work Space in the center. Perforated light screens add a measure of privacy to the Dining Room and Work Space. The Entrance and Chauffeur's quarter are on the right below the wide cantilevered overhanging eve. Upper floor: The Balcony and Roof cantilever out over the Lanai. The Sitting Room (Bedroom) is on the left, the Servant's Room is on the right. The concrete center mass houses the bathrooms and fireplaces on...  Continue...
 

       
       
       
Jorgine Boomer Residence (Circa 1963)
Jorgine Boomer Residence 1963, viewed from the Northeast. Nine years after the home was completed, the existing foliage has grown, but still remains sparse like the original 1954 images. Living room curtains have been replaced. Arizona Biltmore can be seen in the background on the right. The south end of the upper level has been greatly expanded. The walls are constructed of natural red desert stone set in concrete. First floor: The Chauffer's   quarters and Entrance are on the left, the Sitting Room to the right, and the walled Lanai on the far right. Upper floor: The Servant's Room is on the left, stairway is in the center, the Sitting Room (Bedroom) is on the right. The concrete masonry core houses the bathrooms and fireplaces on the first and second floors, and mimics the same angle of the large dramatic roof that reaches skyward... Continue...
 

       
       
       
Jorgine Boomer Residence (Circa 1973-5)
Jorgine Boomer Residence Circa 1973-5. This set of six photographs were photographed by Yukio Futagawa. Five of the six were published in the 1976, "Global Interiors #10", p.148-51. 26 homes were photographed for this volume. That would date these photographs prior to 1976. The automobile parked in the driveway on the left (in image #1) is a 1959 Buick Electra. Looking at the landscaping, the foliage could easily be 20 years old, when comparing it to the landscaping from 1953 and 1963. Image #2 was published in "Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph   1951-1959" Volume 8, 1988. The upper sitting room curtains have been replaced again, following the original 1953 format, but the interior photographs were shot at an earlier date, when the curtains hung from a horizontal bar. The south end of the upper level has been greatly expanded. The wall forming the bedroom on the lower level has been removed, enlarging the living room. The walls are constructed of natural red desert stone set in concrete. First floor: The Entrance and Chauffeur's quarters are below the wide cantilevered overhanging... Continue...
 

       
       
       

Jorgine Boomer Residence (2004)

On a trip to Scottsdale during the spring of 2004, we had the opportunity to drive past the Boomer residence and take a few photographs. After 50 years, the home appeared to be engulfed by desert foliage which was in full bloom.
       The home is dominated by the large roof that begins in the rear of the home about three to four feet off the ground, and rises to the front, overshadowing the two story home in front, then cantilevers out over the balcony and lanai.

         The home is anchored to the desert with walls that are constructed of natural red desert stone set in concrete, in the nature of Taliesin West, which Frank Lloyd Wright began in 1937. The two story home is just over 1,400 square feet. The lower level includes the Living Room, Kitchen and Dining area, Bath and what was designed as the Chauffeur's quarter. A bedroom wall was removed, enlarging the Living Room. The upper level includes a large Bedroom, Bath and what was... Continue...
     

 
 
 

Jorgine Boomer Residence Exterior (2014)

My how time flies. It had been ten years since we last visited Scottsdale. This trip had three purposes. The first was to visit our youngest son and his wife, who now lived in the Phoenix area. The second was to visit Taliesin West and personally meet and thank those that had assisted us in publishing "Frank Lloyd Wright's Nakoma Clubhouse & Sculptures." The third was a desire to study and document Frank Lloyd Wright's work. in a more in-depth way then just the cursory drive by, clicking a few quick pictures (like in 2004).

         We had that opportunity at the Boomer Residence. The nephew of the second and longest owner of the home, he was gracious to allow us not only to closely view the exterior, but also the interior.
       As we approached the home from the east, the first thing that became apparent was the extreme measures that had been taken to reduce the desert growth which...
       Set of 24 exterior and 24 interior photographs by Douglas M. Steiner, April 2014. Continue...
     

 

Jorgine Boomer Residence Interior (2014)

 
 
 
Text and photographs (unless otherwise noted) by Douglas M. Steiner, Copyright 2014.
 
 
Boomer Residence Items, Photographs, Books...
 
 
Bibliography
"Hotel Management", Boomer, 1925.
"Behind the Scenes at the Waldorf-Astoria", Boomer, 1938.
"The Waldorf Astoria", Life Magazine, October 8, 1945, pp 99-105.
"The Natural House", Wright, 1954.
"Arizona Highways", February, 1956, pp 21, 26.
"Global Interior #10: Houses by Frank Lloyd Wright" Futagawa, 1976, pp 148-151.
"Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph 1951-1959", Vol. 8, Text: Pfeiffer; Edited and Photographed: Futagawa, 1990, pp 82-84.
"Frank Lloyd Wright", Pfeiffer, 1991, pp 166-167.
"The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion", Storrer, 1993, p 387.
"The Seven Ages of Frank Lloyd Wright", Hoppen, 1993
"Frank Lloyd Wright, Field Guide, West Vol 3", Heinz, 1999, p 76.
"Frank Lloyd Wright: The Western Work", Legler, 1999, pp 76-81.
"Design Through Abstraction, The Wright Source to Art & Architecture", Stricker, 2007.
"Frank Lloyd Wright, Complete Works 1943-1959", Pfeiffer; Gossel, 2009, pp 118, 274, 296.
"Waldorf Astoria, Images of America", Morrison, 2014.
 
 
 
Additional Wright Studies
 
Adelman (S.344)    Banff National Park Pavilion (S.170)    Bitter Root Inn (S.145)    Blair Residence (S.351)    Blumberg Residence (Project) 
 
Boomer Residence (1953 - S.361)    Brandes Residence (S.350)    Browne's Bookstore (S.141)    Como Orchard Summer Colony (S.144)  
 
Cooke Residence (1953)    Copper Weed Urn & Weed Holder   
Disappearing City (1932)    Elam Residence (S.336)    "Eve of St. Agnes" (1896)  
 
Feiman Residence (S.371)    Frank L. Smith Bank (S.111)    Gordon Residence (S.419)   
Griggs Residence (S.290)    Hartford Resort (Project 1948) 
  Heller Residence (S.038)   
Henderson Residence (S.057)   
Hoffman Showroom (S.380)    Horner Residence (S.142)    "House Beautiful" 1896-98  
  Husser Residence (S.046)    Imperial Hotel (S.194) Silverware and Monogram    Japanese Print Stand (1908)    Kalil Residence (S.387)  
 
Lake Geneva Hotel (S.171)
   Lamp Cottage, Rocky Roost (S.021)    Lockridge Medical Clinic (S.425)    Lykes Residence (S.433)  
 
Marden Residence (S.357)    March Balloons    Midway Gardens (S.180)    Midway Gardens Dish (S.180)    Nakoma Clubhouse  
 
Nakoma Furniture    Opus 497    Pebbles & Balch Remodel (S.131)    Pilgrim Congregational Church (S.431) 
Loren B. Pope (S.268) 
  
Roloson Rowhouse (S.026)    Shavin Residence (S.339)    Sixty Years Exhibition 1951-56    J. L. Smith Residence (1955)    Steffens Residence (S.153)  
  Stohr Arcade (S.162)    Stromquiest Residence (S.429)    Sutton Residence (S.106)    Teater Studio (S.352)    Thurber Art Galleries (S.154)  
  Tracy Residence (S.389)    Trier Residence (S.398)    Usonian Automatic Homes    Williams (Way & Williams) (S.033)  
 
Wyoming Valley School (S.401)   
Zimmerman Residence, (S.333) 
 
Frank Lloyd Wright's First Published Article (1898)
 
Photographic Chronology of Frank Lloyd Wright Portraits
 
"Frank Lloyd Wright's Nakoma Clubhouse & Sculptures." A comprehensive study of Wright’s Nakoma Clubhouse and the Nakoma and Nakomis Sculptures. Now Available. Limited Edition. More information.
 
 

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