Blog Archives

Another Chance to Learn About Downtown Phoenix’s Midcentury Marvels

midmarvbook Another Chance to Learn about Phoenixs MidCentury Marvels

From the City of Phoenix:

Barbara Stocklin, Phoenix historic preservation officer, and Don Ryden, architect/author, will discuss the coffee table-style book, featuring 251 pages showcasing the architects and architecture of the post-World War II building boom in Phoenix.

Architects Ralph Haver, Al Beadle, Bennie Gonzales and many others are featured with more than 400 colorful images, some rare, of buildings lost and those preserved for generations to come. Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on the architecture of Phoenix also is highlighted.

Mid-century Marvels was produced by the Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and Ryden Architects, Inc. with funding provided by a Federal Historic Fund Certified Local Government Grant, The Arizona Heritage Fund and the Phoenix Historic Preservation Bond Fund.

Books can be purchased for $20 at the event, or the Historic Preservation Office, 200 W. Washington St., 17th floor. For more information, call 602-261-8699.


Midtown Phoenix high-rise set to be imploded, 9/27


Beadle high-rise set for implosion (Photo source: Sadie Jo Smokey)

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — At 10 a.m. Sunday, Lisa Kelly, owner of Advanced Explosives Demolition, will push a button.  In 4.5 seconds, a bit of history at Third Street and Earll Drive will fall.  Residents and businesses neighboring the site say good riddance.  Last spring, workers removed the building’s windows, leaving a blighted skeleton of steel and concrete.

In 1972 when it was built, the Mountain Bell Plaza building was one of the first International Style glass-and-steel office high-rises in Phoenix.  Designed by local architect Al Beadle, the building was a perfectly rectangular 10-story block of blackened glass.  For 30 years, the building was home to Mountain Bell and Qwest Communications.  Qwest moved out in 2003, and San Diego developer Joe Pinsonneault bought the building in mid-2004 for $12.5 million.

Jean Switzer lives with her elderly parents on Catalina Drive, one street south of the implosion site.  As of Thursday, she said residents were confused and frustrated at the lack of communication and information about the impending implosion.  “I haven’t received a flier,” Switzer said.  “Nothing about how to prepare, what to expect. Should we stay in our homes?  Should we seal our windows?  These are things that take a long time.”  Phoenix spokeswoman Deborah Sedillo Dugan said a reverse 911 call Saturday evening will alert residents of the blast.  [Note: Read the full article at Midtown Phoenix high-rise set to be imploded 9/27.]

“Results we can see.”

IMG00112Hmmm… We’re guessing these aren’t results Councilman Tom Simplot wants to see.  Campaign sign in foreground; midtown Phoenix development project lying fallow in the background.

NEWSFLASH!  Between last night and this morning, the sign has been taken down.

Destruction of midtown Phoenix landmark continues


The destruction of the former Mountain Bell/Qwest building, designed by noted local architect Al Beadle, continues.  Located at 3rd St. and Earll in midtown Phoenix, the site is slated to be a high-end retirement community for baby boomers.  For background, click here.

Nov. 23 event to launch 2nd book printing on noted Phoenix architect, Al Beadle

constructionspostcard[Source: Modern Phoenix Neighborhood Network] — Come celebrate the second edition of this highly sought-after and long out-of-print book.   Join us in a brunch hosted by Desert Living Magazine, Nancy Beadle, Eddie Jones, and Gnosis Ltd. to celebrate the book’s release.  Click here to RSVP.

  • Sunday, November 23, 2008
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • 4450 N. 12th St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 (a Beadle building, of course!)

Committed to the ethics of the Case Study Program and the vocabulary of building with glass and steel, the late modernist Al Beadle brought Modern Architecture to the Arizona desert.  In 1993, ASU’s B. Michael Boyle and Diane Upchurch produced a catalogue to accompany an exhibit at the College of Architecture and Design which showcased Beadle’s work.  “Constructions: Buildings in Arizona by Alfred Newman Beadle” is the only written resource on Arizona’s own, revered architect.  It can be purchased at the Gnosis website.

Phoenix mid-century landmark to be demolished for boomer retirement home

Mountain Bell/Qwest Building, photo by Arizona Republic[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic, June 24, 2008] — Retired Valley residents interested in living the good life in midtown Phoenix may be able to move forward in that direction this year.  If all goes as planned, the old Mountain Bell Plaza building, 3033 N. Third St., will be torn down in the fall to be replaced by a retirement community.

By Dec. 1, a San Diego-based developer plans to open a sales office for luxury townhouses, condominiums, and apartments.  Montage Senior Living will be “a very high-end, five-star retirement living community” on nine acres, developer Joe Pinsonneault said.  Units could start at $600,000 and could be as much as $2.5 million, Pinsonneault said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Developer to demolish Beadle building for boomer condos

Al Beadle designed Mountain Bell/Qwest building.  Photo source: Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic.[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic] — A San Diego-based developer hopes to bring luxury townhouses, condominiums, and apartments to North Third Street, near Thomas Road.  “The plan is to develop a very high-end, five-star retirement living community on that 9-acre piece of land,” said Joe Pinsonneault, developer of Montage Senior Living.

The project would replace the old Mountain Bell Plaza building [designed by noted local architect Al Beadle], which will be torn down, and feature independent living and retirement facilities.  Qwest sold the building in 2003.  Developers have been working on the 690-unit project for three years and said central Phoenix needs this type of project.  It’s aimed at baby boomers hoping to retire in Phoenix. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]