The Maxwells of Montreal Vol II, Violette Nakhjavani, p390-1
I am writing you on behalf of the Guardian who has something he wants me to ask you to consider for him and make your plans for it as your idea might prove to either be just what he wants or give him something to work on. He is about to build the last terrace of the Shrine on Mt. Carmel and although in an unforeseen future it might need to be changed or added to, he expects it for the present to be the permanent entrance to the terraces. Enclosed are a photograph of the present state of the terraces, a plan of the ones built and where the projected one will come and the property limits, and a cross section map showing the inclination of the mountain and the terraces.
Now the whole thing is this: What should the entrance, marked by me in elegant red ink with the letters ‘XYZ’, look like? That is where your work comes in. As you perhaps remember you discussed it here with Shoghi Effendi and he showed you a model that had a huge flight of circular steps opening out of the smaller flight that led up through the wall of the terrace to the higher level? He does not like this design and leaves it to you to propose one or more different ways. Also he is not absolutely fixed in the idea of using the big wrought iron gate, the design of which you also saw, in that position. So that gives you carte blanche except for the rather narrow and unfavourable approach to this entrance and the incline of the mountain itself. Unfortunately, as you can see from the enclosed photo, the houses are just fronting the as yet unfinished road that leads up to the terrace end. That makes a wide view of it impossible, I mean nice flanking gardens, etc. Also the incline is very steep. The projected stairs could come as near the boundary of the Bahá’í property to the RIGHT of the XYZ line as you think would look nice.
Shoghi Effendi says that as mails are so slow and uncertain now and the distance so great he wants you to not make a detailed plan as that would take too long and be a waste of your time. Make two or three tentative plans in the form of sketches with rough dimensions attached. He has a fairly good engineer who can carry it out. And above all don’t try and ask me more details and wait for the answer as by that time probably summer will be here! At the present rate of mails!
1939-10-11 to Sutherland Maxwell re making plans for Terraces