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    Extraordinary Interpreter

    by ArchitectureWeek

    At a time when the stylistic vogue in Europe was moving from Arts and Crafts into what became known as Modernism, out in the far West of America a talented and remarkable architect was expressing a special regional style that also continues to resonate strongly.

    And her name was not Frank.

    In particular, the buildings Mary Jane Colter created at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon from 1905 to 1937 stand today as a magnificent suite of place and culture-specific architectural iconography - while each is a beautiful structure in its own right.

    Her finely literal Hopi House of 1905, dramatically romantic Lookout Studio of 1914, and playfully woven Watchtower of 1932 are some high points of this body of work.

    Each takes a different approach in its compositional strength, craftsmanship, and material attitude. At the same time, all three exude a sense of the perceptive depth and care with which Mary Jane Colter studied Pueblo and Southwestern building culture.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Watchtower, by Mary Colter, 1932, at Desert View on the South RIm of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
    Kevin Matthews/ ArtificeImages

    ArchWeek Image

    Hopi House, by Mary Colter, 1905, in Grand Canyon Village on the South RIm of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
    Kevin Matthews/ ArtificeImages

     

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