So if you get tiered of all the glitz & glam of Las Vegas and need a bit of fresh air then I suggest taking a tour of the Grand Canyon! I tacked on an extra day while we were out at the KBIS conference and signed up for a tour. It was definitely a highlight of the trip for me! It is truly majestic and stunning. I took a tour of the South Rim which was spectacular! The tour guide was great and kept us entertained on the long journey to the canyon.
I was also surprised to learn that Mary Colter, an American architect and designer, created many of the structures at the Grand Canyon, particularly at the South Rim. She was one of the few female architects of her day, and arguably one of the best and most influential. As a fellow designer who also has a passion for architecture and design, I felt empowered by the knowledge that strong women such as she have paved the way for women like me today.
Colter worked for the Fred Harvey Company for 38 years, and is credited with completing 21 landmark hotels, commercial lodges and public spaces. She used the artisans of the pueblos for a well known hotel called La Fonda. She was best known for using Native American styles, which were employed in the chandeliers, copper and tin lighting fixtures, tiles and textiles and ornamentation.
At the Grand Canyon National Park, she designed the Hopi House, the Hermit’s Rest Observatory and Lookout Studio, the Desert View Watchtower, the Bright Angel Lodge complex and the Phantom Ranch buildings. The group of buildings later known as the Mary Jane Coulter buildings were listed as a National Historic Landmark. Colter’s work is credited with creating the Pueblo Deco Style. She blended Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Native American motifs, and rustic elements. This style became very popular throughout the Southwest.
Colter was a chain-smoking perfectionist who retired in 1948 and died in 1958.
A fun stop on the way to the GC was Double Eagle Trading Post in Arizona. I was able to pick up some turquoise and southwestern blankets! Perfect mementos to bring home!