Mar 20, 2024 - News

Iconic Al Beadle Phoenix home at risk of demolition

A midcentury modern home up against a mountain.

A demolition request was posted outside the home near 44th Street and Camelback Road. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

The new owner of an iconic 1950s-era Camelback Mountain home designed by famed Phoenix architect Al Beadle is trying to demolish it.

Why it matters: Community members are rallying to save the "floating rectangle" home, but weak historic preservation laws will make it difficult to protect the property against the owner's wishes.

Driving the news: A demolition request was posted last Friday outside the home on White Gates Drive, near 44th Street and Camelback Road.

  • The home is not designated historic, but its architectural significance makes it eligible for historic preservation.
  • That has enabled the city to place a 30-day hold on the demolition, Phoenix Planning and Development Department spokesperson Teleia Galaviz tells Axios Phoenix.
  • The Historic Preservation Commission will meet April 15 and may vote to initiate historic designation, she says.

Reality check: Even if the city gives the property historic designation, it would halt demolition for only one year, per city policies.

  • Cities are limited in their ability to protect historic buildings after a 2006 ballot initiative required the government compensate property owners if a regulation decreases the property's value.

Zoom in: Still, temporary protection would provide advocates and buyers time to persuade the owner to sell to someone else, Modern Phoenix's Alison King tells Axios Phoenix.

  • "There are many people in the Valley who would be delighted to take that project on if they had only been given the chance," said King, noting the sale was completed off market without an opportunity for other buyers to compete.

What they're saying: "My client intends to build his family's home on this land and live on the property," the new owner's attorney, Ben Graff, told the Arizona Republic this week.

  • The home was sold for $1.7 million last month, the Republic reported.

Parting shot: "My hope is that this house — the house that my parents brought me home from the hospital when I was born — will continue to be cherished by our citizens and preserved by the city of Phoenix," Beadle's daughter, Gerri Beadle, told the Historic Preservation Commission earlier this week.

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