A second expansion of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix has spurred yet a second cost-efficient method of matching the unique appearance of Frank Lloyd Wright's original textile block construction. The Biltmore's first addition avoided the inflationary labor costs of hand-casting and hand-laying Wright's custom-designed blocks by using site-precast panels. The surface replication was achieved by conventional concrete masonry unit construction with a veneer or skin of miniature precast concrete panels called Biltmore block tiles. This split construction technique allowed the duplication of the exterior facades to be divorced from, and consequently not hamper, the basic erection, enclosure, interior finishing, and final occupancy of the new building wing itself.
The 29-pound tiles were cast from concrete copies of Wright's original aluminum block-molds, which were still in the Biltmore's possession. Their face dimensions 18 x 13 « inches and bas-relief patterns were exact duplicates, the only difference being that the new tiles were only 1 5/8 inches thick. More than 20,000 were made at a small architectural concrete precasting yard a few miles from the hotel. The molds were filled by hand and a manually guided compressed-air-driven tamper was used to compact the fresh concrete. Tiles were steam cured, as Wright's original blocks were in 1929, for 2 to 3 hours. The final product by appearance could be mistaken for Wright's original 1929 textile blocks.