Didn’t manage to snag tickets for this year’s sold-out Modern Phoenix Home tour? Take a tour of your own with a stop by these shining stars of Desert Modernism.
Ralph Haver and his firm, active from the late 40s to the mid-80s, are responsible for thousands of buildings in the Valley; his “Haverhoods” defined the developing aesthetic of the Phoenix area with their mid-century lines. He was dedicated to providing trendy and affordable family living, with structures that lent themselves easily to adaptation and expansion. That aspect, along with the sharp modernist silhouettes, has fostered a popular revival of his work.
One stunning example is the Everston Residence in the Marion Estates neighborhood. It stands out for its rare two-level structure, as well as its beautiful, dramatically sloped roofline. The Everston Residence is also a model illustration of how the parking area can double as a reception space for entertainment, or the “patio-port” concept.
Another Haver gem is the Donaldson House. Built on a Town and Country plan in 1957, this home was later expanded by the Woolsey Studio in 2005. The Town and Country tract homes were (and continue to be) attractive for their generous floor plans and customization potential. This particular example has been expertly enhanced by the addition of wall-length windows to enjoy desert views to the back of the house and a remodeled master bathroom.
The poetically named “House of Light” made a splash in its heyday and continues to cut a striking figure today. The House of Light was built by the Ard Hoyt Construction Company as part of a push to promote the use of electricity in a time when natural gas and coal were still the primary power sources; the all-electric home boasts an excessive buffet of electric appliances and specified lights. Although the House of Light and the other all-electric homes proved to be prohibitively expensive and difficult to maintain, what Ard Hoyt did deliver on was an attractive design which harmonized with the desert landscape.
Towards the end of the reign of Modernism, there is Beadle House 11, from Alfred Newman Beadle in 1963. With the entire foundation and a welcome boardwalk raised on steel posts to accommodate seasonal flooding, this home employs both classic modular design and striking innovation. Beadle House 11 was the family home for many years as Beadle continued to hone his craft and produce his iconic work. The integration with the landscape and the sharp contrast of the concrete and glass panels make for an arresting visual impact.
Photos © Modern Phoenix LLC and Jacob Lichner
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