Al Beadle, All Articles, Mid-Century Modern Designers

Ten Great Buildings Designed by Al Beadle

The Executive Towers Condominium. Constructed in 1963, this building was originally the tallest skyscraper erected in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. There are a total of 22 stories and 160 individual residences within the complex. Rigid angles are a prevalent feature in the design of this rectangular building. A wide strip of grey concrete runs vertically down each side of the building and separates the balconies from one another. Materials included in constructing the outer interface of the building include modular stone, cast concrete, glass mosaic tiles, and ruddy volcanic stone. Other notable features in the architectural layout include the “Beadle Ball” lamps that line the walkways, umbrella shaped concrete coverings to provide a shady spot near the pool area, and a circular rose garden with a white wall that surrounds about 3/4ths of the garden. The swimming pool is shaped like a cross. Lastly, the dimensions of the whole building come out to be 1165 by 2732 square feet.

The Three Fountains Condominiums. Obscured by palm trees and various bushes, this residential building was constructed in 1963. A total of 59 town homes that are each 1024 in square footage with two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms comprise of the complex’s acreage. A washer and dryer plus a large private patio are additional features to the homes. Floors are concrete and the veneers are composed of Maple wood. Many shaded pathways with translucent plastic coverings and wooden frames surround the residences, as well as “Beadle Ball” lights. In front of the Three Fountains sign is a geyser fountain with three nozzles that spray flowing bursts of water. The colored vertical strips of glass that decorate the building’s exterior give life to its appearance.

Camelback Place. This is a group of 14 residences that are 1632 in square footage. The entire building plan was finished in 1973. Each residence includes two bedrooms with a loft, two bathrooms, a patio, a balcony, a spiral staircase, and a two-car garage with a cactus plant in a ceramic bowl situated in the front. A gray steel cylindrical light is attached to the garage’s front wall. The exterior is made of white marble and the iron-gate for entering each residence is tall, black, and narrow.

The Boardwalk Condominiums. A long platform with five white steps rising up on each side features the number 4225 that indicates the address of the Boardwalk housing complex. White posted walkways with “Beadle ball” lights aligned parallel to their paths feature prominently among the 805 square foot residencies. Some walkways even have a black, filtered covering for protection against the sun. Each condo includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a garden path in the front. Glass doors and walls, and painted brick walls make up the exterior and interior designs of the homes, as well as a backyard that has a wall surrounding it for privacy. A recreational swimming pool puts the finishing touches on the Boardwalk’s layout.

The P.S. Studios Office. This office building was once Al Beadle’s own architectural studio. The Mountain Bell Building was being constructed across the street from this office and Beadle wanted to oversee its progress. It is now a graphic design and advertising company. As for the design of the P.S. Studios Office, it is a metal building with mirrored glass panes. The panes have linear designs such as grid lines, and diagonal lines to maintain a slick and modern feel. The front of the building includes a walkway surrounded by a white wall. This walkway leads down to the basement, which serves as the building’s entrance. To the right of the walkway is a maroon red steel fence that has a tree planted inside. Piles of rocks serve as the front, side, and back lawn for this building.

4450 N. 12th Street. Currently serving as a business for landscape architecture, this building makes use of shapes and lines, particularly squares and diagonal lines. The sides of the building contain either 14 or 16 white squares lined in a row each with a mirrored diagonal line inside that runs parallel to each adjacent square. The two squares in the middle form a “V” with their diagonal lines, as their slope changes direction. A covered parking lot with concrete posts is a part of the building’s composition. The lawn contains mostly grass that rises to form a mound. In front of the building, to the left of the walkway is a red sculpture that is composed of three orbiting rings wrapped around one another, with the center being a circle with a hole that has vertical bars inside. As for the building’s interior, red rails are a prominent feature above the walkways. These rails are situated horizontally and also rise up towards the ceiling to form an arch.

The 5th Ave. Professional Building. A square building with white posts and sidings. On each side, there are twelve squares. These squares are organized as having four rows and three columns. Within these squares, there are fifteen narrow, granite rectangles, each with a small opening that serves as a window. The front of the building contains a glass door that leads to a lobby with tiled floors, glass walls, plush benches, and small square shaped fountains. Office sizes range from 85 to 3,000 square feet.

The Urban League. The Greater Phoenix Urban League is an agency that offers underprivileged individuals social programs, employment opportunities, and educational materials. A dark teal colored metal building, its entrance has four flat red marble steps that lead to glass doors protected by a shaded area. An interesting feature is the vertical strips of stained glass art that add sparkle to the building’s appearance.

The Gruber Residence. Geometry and shape play a significant part in the design of this home. The roof consists of many squares and rectangles pieced together like a puzzle. Circular windows, like those on a submarine, can be found on the ceilings and on the sides of the residence. Filtered canopies can be seen over the balconies or porches, where protection from sunlight is needed. Metal posts support the covered walkways. The interior includes recessed ceiling lights, wooden floors, and glass doors.

The Mountain Bell Building. Constructed in the early 1970s, this rectangular 20-story high-rise building was covered exclusively with reflective glass windows. A twin building was supposed to be in the works, but the plans never came to fruition. Maintenance of the building proved to be costly, as windows would often need to be replaced in bad weather conditions. In addition, air quality and asbestos replacements were also common issues. Controversy over the future of the building proved to be incessant. Architectural advocates wanted to preserve the building for historical reasons, and urban developers wanted to transform the building into a business. Phoenix citizens congregated to watch the destruction of the Mountain Bell Building like it was a Fourth of July fireworks display. It was