Scottsdale went “hi-fi” in 1961 when the Executive House Arizonian opened in the “West’s Most Western Town.” The $3 million, 210-room resort at 4823 North Scottsdale Road, located just north of Camelback Road, was built with five wings facing a central patio. The Chicago-based hotel chain had outlets in Chicago, Washington D.C., Memphis, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and Dutch Guinea.
Resort amenities included two swimming pools, a sun deck, and a nine-hole putting green. Sustenance was provided by the Sun Dial coffee shop, while the upscale Fountain Room offered dancing along with dining. The glass-enclosed La Roca cocktail lounge dispensed adult beverages overlooking a rock garden and waterfall. The resort, however, was most proud of their rooms’ interior features, according to an article in The Arizona Republic in 1961. These conveniences included a refrigerator, coffeemaker, and a mirrored panel that opened to produce an ironing board and iron, the latter of which shut off thanks to an automatic timer.
The owners of the Executive House Arizonian selected interior design and custom furniture specialists from their hometown. However, the firm went local with their contractor, H & J Construction Co., Inc., and architect Barrie H. Groen of Edco Architectural Co., Inc. Construction consisted of concrete, block-bearing walls, with precast reinforced concrete slabs for the second floor. The architectural highlight was a bridge across a reflecting pool at the main entrance.
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This article originally appeared in the Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Nov/Dec 2019 issue, Vol. 8, No.6. The Arizona Contractor & Community magazine is a bi-monthly publication.