Join us for a cross-country trek where we’ll peek into a few neighborhoods where rooflines sweep and preservation prevails. Would you like to see your neighborhood featured? Do you have a story to share about one of the featured neighborhoods? Email Sarah Jane Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the first installment of this series here.
Dubbed “The Home for Southwest Living,” Ralph Haver’s 1955 Phoenix neighborhood development of Windemere is a true gem.
According to the original marketing, the 3 bedroom, 1 3/4 bath, 1500 square feet homes started at $11,100 and came standard with air conditioning. Touting wood-framed, floor-to-ceiling picture windows, concrete driveways, 3-inch roof insulation and an optional fireplace (at an additional cost), the Windemere homes offered modern style at an approachable price point.
Original buyers were additionally incentivized by being able to choose the color for their Youngstown steel kitchens and Formica countertops, as well as the color of their roof gravel.
So who is behind these impressive modernist homes? Phoenix’s famed midcentury icon Ralph Haver. His work in the area was so prolific that the term “Haver Hoods” is a common refrence for his many developments.
His firm is responsible for over 20,000 residences, including full neighborhoods like Windemere.
“Haver’s desire to create bold, modern, and, above all, attainable and affordable homes for Phoenix families may have stemmed from his own family-oriented outlook on life. Inspired by his father, a mason, to pursue architecture, he later worked with his brother, a building contractor, as he built out his vision of contemporary design in the Valley of the Sun,” Patrick Sisson writes.
The Windemere neighborhood does not yet have historical distinction. While there are many homes in excellent condition, an increasing number are undergoing renovations that may prevent the neighborhood from ever qualifying. Car ports have been traded in for extra living space, rooflines altered for adjusted floor plans, and a few second stories have been added. Despite these changes, there is still a sense of pride and joy in these low-slung midcentury gems.
In fact, the Windemere neighborhood was included in an article for the Phoenix New Times titled, “5 Best Midcentury Modern Neighborhoods in Metro Phoenix.”
“The Ralph Haver subdivision nestled right next to Arcadia High School is surprisingly consistent in aesthetic for a neighborhood that’s now 60 years old. Between newly renovated homes and homes that don’t appear to have been touched since their construction, the residents seem to more or less agree on preserving historic integrity, which is a huge plus in today’s Midcentury Modern ‘hoods,” Katie Johnson writes.
For more on Windemere and other midcentury neighborhoods in Phoenix, visit Modern Phoenix.