I love it when an old structure is given new purpose and new life. John P. Twigg and Steve Watson have done an amazing job at renovating a small mid century gem that we built in 1958. I have always liked the geometric pattern that cinder block makes when stacked this way. The small home is somewhat deceiving as it looks small form the street but with the addition of a casita, the two structures work together to create a functional and inviting courtyard and outdoor living space.
The house is allegedly a Blaine Drake design but we cannot confirm it. Drake was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright and well known in Phoenix as a custom home builder. One of his hallmarks is soldier-stacked concrete block. The house was actually built by a man named Henry, who was a construction foreman for such projects as the Westward Ho, formerly a giant hotel here. We think Mr. Henry may have “improved” upon the original design.
“We added the casita as a self-contained mini-house. It has a kitchenette as well as a washer and dryer. We wanted it to be like a luxury hotel suite. We mimicked the concrete block as well as the soffit detail and clerestory windows. Originally, we were going to paint the two structures to match, as well as to have the same flooring, but we decided after construction to leave the new structure as raw as possible. It can always be painted and different flooring added over the concrete.”