Peacock Alley, Imperial Hotel, c. 1950.



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“In the ‘Peacock Alley’ of the Imperial it was of keen interest to Mrs. Huckins and Gloria to linger a bit after dinner, as a wedding ceremony and banquet in the hotel was an almost nightly occurrence, and the parade of beautiful kimonos a delight to see.

“I might say, also, they have mentioned to me several times that their attention upon first entering the hotel was immediately attracted by the beautiful carpets, which we afterward learned were woven in Peking from designs specially made to harmonize with the furnishings, and were perhaps the most pleasing part of the scheme of interior decoration.”

“American Family’s Impression of Japanese Hotels”, by Joseph Huckin, The Hotel Monthly, March 1925

Peacock Alley, Imperial Hotel, c. 1950.

“Peacock Alley”, Imperial Hotel, c. 1950. The banquet room corridor of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed hotel off of the lobby where one could “see and be seen” the who’s-who of Tokyo society, surrounded interior decorations and decor also of Wright design.

See also:
Imperial Hotel (Wright), 1923-1968

“On Monday, October 1st [1928], the Conference begins in the auditorium of the Imperial Hotel with about 700 present. Perhaps one more person might be packed in – but that seems doubtful … While stenographers tap out last-minute additions to speeches, delegates find their places, piloted through the greenery and banners of Peacock Alley into the auditorium by white-jacketed attendants.”

The Rotarian, December 1928

See and be seen, in the Imperial Hotel’s ‘Peacock Alley’. The storied Tokyo hotel was one of six buildings in Japan designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Imperial Hotel famously survived the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, shortly after opening for business in July; its experimental foundation principles were steadily improved upon, resulting in the forests of earthquake-resistant skyscrapers seen throughout Tokyo, today.

The 1923-1968 iteration of the Imperial Hotel (there have been three) was well-worn and threadbare by the time of its demise. It was said its suite hallways had taken on wavy, twisted appearances as the structure became settled and shifted against the reclaimed ground upon which it was built. Maybe more important, the hotel lacked certain amenities, too, including air-conditioning, which appealed to post-war travelers.

Despite loosely-organized opposition to its demolition, all but the front facade of the Imperial Hotel was reduced to rubble in 1968. The facade now rests assembled on the grounds of Meiji Mura, an outdoor museum of Japanese architecture, near Nagoya

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  1. Pingback: Imperial Hotel (1923-1968) | Old Tokyo

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