Reminder: Phoenix’s Midcentury Marvels Release

Phoenix’s Midcentury Marvels Create a Sense of Place

While arguably harmful to our urban form, Phoenix’s mid-centuiry modern architecture definitely contributes to the city’s sense of place.  This contribution is documented in a brand new book to be released by the City Historic Preservation Office. entitled, “Midcentury Marvels: Commercial  Architecture of Phoenix: 1945-1975.”

The book is a glossy hard-back 250+ page publication with over 300 current and historic photographs telling the story of Phoenix’s post World War II rise and the commercial architectural wonders that sprung up on the Phoenix landscape during this era.

I’ve had a sneak peek at the contents of the book and I must say it is an impressive publication. Its impeccable research and compelling narration by Don Ryden places Phoenix’s architectural heritage squarely context with the national and global Modernism movements. Given the demolition and disfigurement of several classic mid-century buildings over the past few years, this book is an important reminder of what we have in the city and why it is important to preserve our recent past.

The book will be released  at a Brown Bag Lunch and Book Signing at noon on Friday Jan. 21. A limited edition of the first printing will be sold for $20. First come first serve!

If you can’t make this event the book will be available for sale online by the end of January 2011 at phoenix.gov/historic where you can buy it for $20 plus $4.99 shipping.  The book will also be available for sale at the $20 price at the Historic Preservation Office during regular business hours, 3rd floor, Phoenix City Hall starting January 24, 2011.

All proceeds from the book sales will go to the Historic Preservation Bond Fund.

Event Details

Why just eat lunch at noontime? Why not go on a cultural journey guaranteed to open your eyes, expand your mind and stir your spirit? The “Faces of Diversity” Brown Bag Series features dynamic people telling their stories about diversity in our community — race, ethnicity, gender issues, disability awareness, religion, etc.

MIDCENTURY MARVELS: Commercial Architecture of Phoenix 1945-1975

Noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 Phoenix City Council Chambers 200 W. Jefferson St.

Don W. Ryden, AIA Barbara Stocklin, city of Phoenix historic preservation officer

The traditional styles that characterized Phoenix architecture during the early 20th century gave way to a bold new design aesthetic known as Modernism. Many of Phoenix’s most recognized buildings were constructed during this era. Don W. Ryden, AIA, and Barbara Stocklin will tell the story of the remarkable post-World War II era in Phoenix history and discuss the importance of preserving historical buildings that still remain.

This series, sponsored by the Phoenix Human Relations Commission and the city’s Equal Opportunity Department, promotes the value of cultural diversity and creates opportunities for positive exchange among diverse groups. For more information, visit phoenix.gov/EOD/bbag.html.

To request disability accommodations, call the Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department at 602-495-0358/voice or 602-534-1557/TTY

Park at 305 W. Washington and bring your ticket for validation and parking discount. The Light Rail stop is just steps away!

We hope to see you there with all the other usual suspects who are fighting hard on behalf of our city’s midcentury heritage!

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.