Build it and they will come!
In Phoenix, the last week-plus of March has come, in the past 13 years, to equal “modernism,” in all its clean-lined, white-stucco glory. You can take walking and bus tours; see inside some of the metro area’s coolest midcentury houses, hotels, and factories; and even go to a sunset reception at Taliesin West.
Plus, this year only, Modern Phoenix Week—as this extravaganza is called, though it actually runs for 10 days—will coincide with a National Symposium on Modernism + Climate, presented by the U.S. chapter of Docomomo International, the nonprofit working to preserve the built legacy of the Modernist movement. (Docomomo=“Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement.”) Day one of the symposium will take place at Phoenix College, but day two, a mix of lectures and workshops, will be held at Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s urban experiment that’s been growing in the desert north of Phoenix since the 1970s.
The Week’s most popular event—the Modern Phoenix Home Tour, which this year includes a dozen houses from the 1960s in Paradise Gardens—is sold out already, but you can add your name to the waitlist for that, as well as for Mesa’s Neon by Night and the Superlite Factory Tour. (Postwar Phoenix was, after all, the concrete block capital of the world.) And there are still tickets available for the tour of midcentury banks (lunch from Postino Highland is included), a visit to Paolo Soleri’s own Dome House, in Cave Creek, and the “Holy Houses!” church tour.