Imperial Hotel Completed

Tokyo's Imperial Hotel was the best-known of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings in Japan.

The original Imperial Hotel in Tokyo was built in 1890. To replace the original wooden structure, the owners commissioned a design by Wright, which was completed in 1923. Time took its toll, and in 1968, the facade and pool were moved to The Museum Meiji Mura, a collection of buildings (mostly from the Meiji Era) in Inuyama, near Nagoya, while the rest of the structure was demolished to make way for a new hotel on the site.
The Frank Lloyd Wright version was designed in the "Maya Revival Style" of architecture. It incorporates a tall, pyramid-like structure, and also loosely copies Maya motifs in its decorations. The main building materials are poured concrete, concrete block, and carved oya stone. The visual effect of the hotel was stunning and dramatic, though not unique; in recent years, architectural historians have noted a marked similarity with the Cafe Australia, Melbourne, Australia (1916) designed by Prairie School architects Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin.

While the Imperial Hotel was originally owned and partly funded by the imperial family, the current owner of Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, the new hotel on the grounds on which Wright's Imperial Hotel once stood, is Imperial Hotel, Ltd., which runs a chain of luxury hotels in Japan.