Blog Archives

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.

Can landscaping make Phoenix “walkable?”

[Source: Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic] — The skyline may be interesting, but it is not where we live.  “We should not care about the skyline but the streetscape,” says Nancy Levinson, head of the Phoenix Urban Research Lab at Arizona State University.  “The skyline of Manhattan is something you appreciate in New Jersey.  In the thick of Manhattan, you’re excited about the streetscape. The skyline is something you see from a specific angle.  Many great cities don’t have a great skyline.”

And it is that street-level view that is lagging most in Phoenix.  “All good cities share a common quality,” Phoenix architect Eddie Jones says.  “They are walkable.”

Phoenix doesn’t make the grade.  “Downtown Phoenix is not a pleasant environment,” says Dean Brennan, a planner with the Urban Form Project, a city initiative to guide development. “People don’t come to downtown Phoenix to walk around — not like they do in downtown Tempe.  In Phoenix, we talk about shade.  That seems obvious.  But when a building is designed, you’d think shade would be a critical element of that design, but it’s not.  Shade isn’t provided.  Maybe some trees or a canopy, but it’s an afterthought.”

The question is: If the temperature is 105 degrees even in the shade, will landscaping be enough to turn Phoenix into a “walkable” city?  [Note: To read this article and online comments, click here.]