Design Through the Decades - Part 4
Today we’ll look at the exterior architecture of homes in Phoenix, Arizona in the 1970s.
By 1970, the population of Phoenix had grown to 581,562, enough to move it from the 29th largest US city in 1960 to the 20th largest city in 1970. To see historical photos of Phoenix in the 1970s, click here.
Built in 1971 in the traditional ranch style format. Cookie-cutter floor plans: you enter the house’s living room, walk forward 10 feet, turn left, walk down hallway, one bedroom on the left, one bathroom on the right, walk forward, 2nd bedroom on the left, linen closet at the end of the hallway, and master bedroom on the right with a 3/4 bath.
Also built in 1971 and featuring slump block. Personally, I think slump block is ugly, but it is supposedly helpful with heating and cooling. A slump block is hollow in the middle which allows for cooling in the summer and heat retention in the winter.
Another slump block home. The emphasis was on energy savings in hot Phoenix versus visual appeal.
A slump block home on a grander scale.
Can we just call this architectural whimsy?
Mass production of
cheap affordable homes began in the 1970s. It was all about building homes quickly and at lower cost. Block wall homes took longer to build. Wood frame construction was quicker. And you could cover the exterior with cheap T-111 masonite siding. Builder John F. Long was responsible for many of these T-111 sided homes with thin metal framed windows that rattle when you close the front door.
Here’s a two-story home built in 1979. Two-story homes still were not common in Phoenix in the 1970s. Land was still cheap, so builders did not have an incentive to build up. This would all change in the 1980s.
The Mediterranean look became popular in the 1970s. You can see many of these Mediterranean-inspired homes in the Moon Valley area of Phoenix.
Another Mediterranean/Spanish design. This style was quite popular in the master-planned community of McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale which was developed in the late 1970s.
Red/pink slump block was an alternative to the tan slump block as seen at this Glendale, Arizona home.
Arches were used as architectural flair in the 1970s.