Phoenix’s most influential architects include Frank Lloyd Wright, Al Beadle, and Ralph Haver. These three designers and builders have left a lasting impression on the city, and their works continue to be admired and appreciated.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Above all, one of Phoenix’s most influential architects is Frank Lloyd Wright. He’s responsible for many iconic structures, including the Arizona State University Gammage Auditorium, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Fallingwater, and his Scottsdale winter home Taliesin West. Throughout his career, Wright developed the concept of The Prairie School movement and the Usonian home in Broadacre City.
Wright was also an accomplished writer and popular lecturer in the United States and Europe. In 1991, Wright was named the “greatest American architect of all time” by the American Institute of Architects. And in 2019, a selection of his work became a World Heritage Site. His unique style and creative vision continue to influence architects and designers today.
Another remarkable Modernist architect was Alfred Newman Beadle. One of his most notable works is the Case Study Apartments #1 in Phoenix. This design was part of the Case Study House Program initiated by Arts & Architecture magazine.
Although Beadle passed away in 1998, his influence on the Phoenix architecture scene is still felt today. Beadle’s architectural projects, ranging from homes to businesses, have earned praise from the American Institute of Architects, American Iron and Steel Institute, and Architectural Record magazine.
Lastly, Ralph Burgess Haver was a California-born architect who arrived in Phoenix immediately after his service in World War II. He was a mentor to Ed Varney, and together they created his first set of experimental modern contemporary ranch homes.
Ralph Haver and his partner Jimmie Nunn were instrumental in the rapid expansion of Phoenix which resulted in it becoming the sixth-largest city in the United States by the close of the 1900s. Haver & Nunn is considered to be among the largest producing architectural firms of the time. They designed churches, schools, municipal buildings, tract housing, custom homes, and more. His firm’s work is partly responsible for the overall unifying look of the Valley of the Sun.
Haver became known for his modest Haver Homes — affordable tract housing developments designed in a casual contemporary modern style. It’s estimated that there are 20,000 Haver-designed tract homes in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Overall, Phoenix is home to some of the most influential architects in the world. Between Frank Lloyd Wright, Al Beadle, and Ralph Haver, the city has been blessed with a wealth of architectural talent. Each of these architects has made an indelible impact on the city, and their works continue to shine in Phoenix to this day.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons by Magnus Manske