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Midcentury Metropolis

Having fun rummaging about Walt Lockley’s site all afternoon. This is the Phoenix equivalent of James Lileks’ Minneapolis site: quirky commentary on quirky local architecture. Of course, since Phoenix is a relatively young city, there’s a huge emphasis on Midcentury Modern (or at least our own weird, deserty approximation of it) — a style not yet old enough to be considered worth conservation by some old, stodgy Phoenicians. Nerts to them.

Lockley is also a funny and excellent writer. An observation on ASU’s fabulous Gammage Auditorium:

This Gammage either looks like a wedding cake with arms, or a smart little sombrero that George Cukor might have put on Rosalind Russell’s head as she clips in from stage left, yacking, a sombrero eight stories tall, a sombrero with welcoming arms. It’s pink. Officially the Gammage is ‘desert rose’ but it’s really pinker than hell and everybody knows it. The general opinion seems to be that it’s ugly — or as my friend Bisser blurted out, “hideous!” As if the ghost of George Cukor had pinched his ass.

Not only is that building a wonderfully loopy landmark, but I also have a lot of wonderful memories associated with Gammage. As a child/teen, I saw a lot of great theater productions there. It’s in the parking lot that I learned how to drive a stick shift. And inside, at around the eighth row center on a November night, I met my significant other.

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