In Tokyo Connie Mack, Stuart Bell, and the nonplayers spent a quiet week visiting cultural sites and lounging around the team’s hotel. The opulent Imperial Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to fit into the natural landscape nonetheless looked out of place in the neighborhood dominated by newer office buildings. Designed after a Mayan temple, and built with brick and shaped lava boulders, the hotel resembled an H, with a large lily-covered pool fronting the hotel’s entrance.
After receiving the contract to build the hotel in 1916, Wright spent the next four years wrestling with the fundamental problem of how to build a Western-style hotel that would survive Japan’s earthquakes on a land-filled swamp. Following his principle of unity between nature and structure, Wright decided to use the mud to his advantage by building a floating foundation. He reduced the superstructure’s weight by building the walls with lightweight lava, and by using cantilevers and flexible joints, he designed the hotel to not fight an earthquake but to “sympathize with it and out-wit it.” Wright even designed the large lily pool that stood before the hotel’s entrance with Tokyo’s earthquakes in mind. The pool was connected to the hotel’s water supply and could be used if the city’s supply was disrupted. Wright’s design saved the building from destruction as well as the lives of hundreds of occupants during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.1 Since the earthquake the hotel had become the focal point for foreign residents.2 Correspondents, diplomats, and businessmen met in its famous bar just off the main lobby and dined at the New Grill. It also became the favorite residence for visiting celebrities.
There was plenty to keep the rest of the travelers busy until the