Architecture: Down Comes the Landmark

In its heyday, Tokyo's Imperial Hotel was the city's most famous landmark after the imperial Palace. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright between 1916 and 1921 in a style that combined the most extravagant features of Mayan and Oriental architecture, the yellow-brick stone-trimmed structure played host to visiting celebrities from Babe Ruth, Will Rogers and Albert Einstein to honeymooning Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. But even to its fans, the Imperial has always had its idiosyncrasies. Every one of its 230 guest rooms is different, an efficiency expert's nightmare, and Wright was...

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