Monday, February 14, 2011

Color, Texture & Design of The Ahwahnee Hotel

 The Ahwahnee Hotel has deep roots and a rich history.  The hotel site was originally home to the Miwok Indian Tribe and chosen for its breathtaking views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point. Designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, materials chosen for the hotel were concrete, granite and steel to withstand the elements and possibility of fire.  Construction began in 1925 and the hotel opened a few years later in 1927.  I cannot imagine the painstaking process of trucking in the materials used to build the hotel back in 1925.  On our trip, we were stuck on the summit road in thick clouds and almost freezing temperatures leaving us to drive no faster than 10 mph (thank goodness for modern day marvels like seat warmers, heaters, headlights, abs brakes, 4WD, and GPS). 
 The hotel's furnishings were chosen by Dr. Arthur Pope and his wife, Dr. Phyllis Ackerman. 
 The stained glass window panels were designed by Jeannette Dyer Spencer

 There is a heavy Native American influence with a splash of Art-Deco.  During WWII the hotel was used by the U.S. Navy as a hospital. More recently, the hotel has been updated but keeps with the original 1920s/1930s era design. 
 Seating areas were scattered throughout the hotel for guests to lounge in and enjoy a book, good company, or just the warmth of the roaring wood-burning fires.  The atmosphere was quite cozy and inviting!

 The dining room in the Awhahnee was spectacular! Dramatic floor to ceiling windows overlooked a snowy landscape giving the room had a dream-like quality.  I would love to design an event there!

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