Mary Colter: Builder Upon the Red Earth
Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter broke new ground in the male-dominated fields of architecture and design in the first half of the twentieth century. As the cheif architect and decorator for the Fred Harvey Company from 1902 to 1948, she created remarkable buildings in her own vision, buildings that blended into the natural landscape and paid homage to the structures of American Indian tribes of the Southwest.
Grand Canyon national park is the most remarkable showcase for Colter's work. There, such iconic structures as the Desrt View Watchtower, Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio, Hermit's Rest, and Phantom Ranch display the mastery Colter had for selecting complementary matierials and for creating unique designs. As she intended, her buildings blend into the vast natural panoram of Grand Canyon; it's as if her buildings have always been part of the canyon's landscape.
A strong-willed woman who knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to go after it, Colter left an enduring mark on Grand Canyon National Park.
Written by Virginia Grattan. Paperback, 131 pages.