She’s the king of modern Phoenix if you have to have a Haver

Alison King/ The midcentury maven of Maricopa County


By Robrt L. Pela | Phoenix New Times

Alison King didn’t set out to be the midcentury maven of Maricopa County. “I’d planned to be a high school art teacher,” she said during a break from planning next month’s Modern Phoenix Week. “I ended up teaching college instead, and then spending a big chunk of my life talking to people about modern architecture.”

Instructing others about midcentury marvels began innocently, King said. “My husband and I were deciding where we wanted to live, and we were documenting our drives through Phoenix with really shitty cameras, photographing stuff we liked. Then I would make these little web pages about what we’d seen, so we could talk about whether we wanted to live there. It was a way to catalog what we looked at.”

King put her web pages on the iternet, and Google found them. “Someone would type in ‘Ralph Haver’ or ‘Windemere’ or whatever, and they would wind up at my site because it was the only site about those topics out there.”

People began writing to King about modernist influences and about Haver, the renowned architect whose distinctive modern tract homes have lately become so sought after. She quickly became a Haver scholar; in the meantime, a community was born.


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February 2019