Monday, May 19, 2008

Arizonans celebrate the state's recent past

[Source: Arin Greenwood] -- On Apr. 5 and 6, 2008, hundreds of people converged in Phoenix to tour a neighborhood of midcentury modern houses, and to go to seminars on the history and importance of midcentury architecture. It was the fourth annual Modern Phoenix house tour and expo–and the biggest group of participants yet. But as more and more people discover the beauty in ranch house tracts, historic preservationists worry that those tracts are disappearing.

One summer in a concrete hut in Arcosanti, an experimental architecture-focused eco-community in the Arizona desert, Alison King and her high school sweetheart–now husband, Matthew King–rediscovered their home state. Alison had grown up in Scottsdale, and Matthew was "practically native," Alison says, having moved to Arizona when he was four. But in 1999, the two moved together from Arizona to New York City for college; this turned into 10 years in the city of skyscrapers. Then they spent the summer living in Arcosanti and "fell in love with the desert again," King says. Not incidentally, they also decided they wanted to get married. "We figured out that if we could live in a concrete cube down by the river with no air conditioning for a summer without killing each other, we could do just about anything together."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Alison King, Pictured: The Ralph Haver designed Kaffer House; shown is its recent addition.]