First Friday: The Beadle Perspective

April 1st, 2010

A postcard view of the Safari Hotel in its heyday

The beginning of April signifies many things for Phoenicians: It’s the last month before the weather gets mind-meltingly hot, baseball season is cranking up and Modern Phoenix Week must be about to begin.

The week-long celebration of all things mid-century modern in the Valley always culminates with a tour of a dozen or so stunning Valley homes in a modernist-preserved neighborhood. But, before the home tour, which falls on April 11 this year, there are plenty of events all over the Valley to unveil the modernist within.

First Friday is the unofficial kick-off, with Phoenix Metro Retro hosting an Al Beadle-themed night of art and conversation. Beadle is the quintessential mid-century Valley architect, and though his buildings dot Midtown, Uptown, North Central and points beyond (including a wacky motel in Gila Bend), this show will focus on the ill-fated Safari Hotel, which once stood across the street from today’s ever-expanding Scottsdale Fashion Square. Vintage photographs and some cool Safari-themed swag will be on hand, as well as selected maquettes for steel sculpture designed by Beadle himself.

New artwork by Modern Phoenix founder Alison King will also line the walls, and Heidi Abrahamson’s stunning silversmith jewelry will be on hand as well.

Phoenix Metro Retro is located at 708 W. Hazelwood St. in Melrose (light rail station at 7th Ave/Camelback) — 602.279.0702. The show runs from 6-9 p.m.