1 9 2 3Thirty-three years after opening, the original Imperial Hotel, stately though it was, no longer suited the capital city. In 1917, work began on a splendid new structure, by famed American Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s bold, ultra-modern concept was a magical marriage between occidental and oriental style, and used native materials -- Oya stone (a kind of volcanic tuff), elaborate ornamental tiles and bricks. The striking result was hailed as one of his seminal masterpieces. After completion, the new Imperial quickly became the hotel of choice for afuent travelers. The construction of the Wright hotel had not been easy. Costs, delays and even re held up the process. However, it eventually opened for business in September 1923. Just before the opening ceremony, at precisely 11:58 a.m. on September 1st, the Great Kanto Earthquake struck Tokyo. Miraculously, though much of Tokyo was destroyed and many lives were lost, the Wright hotel suffered primarily supercial damage. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHTSTUNS THE CAPITAL5

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