Connor House 1950-51 Harold Addition, 1960-1961 – Blaine Drake Architect.
The Connor/Harold House by Architect Blaine Drake is one of the best remaining examples of this architect’s early designs offering a quiet setting with magnificent views, coupled with a high level of retained architectural integrity. Completed in 1951 the home had a modest addition in 1961 designed by Drake as well. The result is a seamlessly updated home, ready to meet today’s living. The home has had only two owners with the Harold family purchasing the home from the original owners in the mid-1950’s.
This is an amazing opportunity to own and renovate a significant piece of Post War Modern architecture designed by one of Arizona’s most respected architects. The home is available for sale for the first time from the family with restrictions: There are buyer exclusions that apply. The home is to be restored, not razed, and buyers should recognize the fact that the home is marketed in “as-is” condition, knowing that future work to restore is and should be expected.
Upon entry, there is a passing resemblance to Wright Usonian homes, but only a hint: The house quickly transforms into a unique desert home designed as only Blake could accomplish. Unique and subtle geometric playfulness allow the home to spill open to the desert site and create a unique sense of shelter while staying completely connected to the nature beyond. A simple material pallet has been retained. The original block of the home uses a white pumice “super-lite” concrete mix that has the look and feel of that used in the David and Gladys Wright home in Arcadia. The house retains much of its original red concrete floors and original steel framed windows. The 1961 addition transitions the concrete floors to a buff color and the newer concrete block is a good match to the original.
The living room is a delight with a floor level hearth that anchors the home for conversation, and floor-to-ceiling glass connecting you to the verdant desert landscape and sunny patios. The 1960’s addition updated the baths and kitchen, with more recent updates having occurred in the guest rooms that would easily restore to a harmonious original feel. The landscape is superb with dozens of rare and unusual specimens, many of remarkable size and species. Courtyards feature Japanese-inspired gardens that compliment the home perfectly. The view of Camelback mountain is superb and the desert lot is one of the few left undisturbed in this fabulous Paradise Valley location.
About The Architect:
Blaine Drake was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original
apprentices at Taliesin, Wisconsin, in 1933, and went on to establish
his Arizona practice in 1945. He designed approximately two hundred
projects during his long career, nearly two-thirds of which were
built. Most of his work was in the Phoenix area and focused on
residential architecture, though he also designed office, medical, and
apartment buildings and churches. One of the few Wright apprentices to
pursue a successful independent practice, Drake was an advocate of
energy-efficient design in the desert. He received national and
international recognition for his work. Blaine Drake retired from
architectural practice in 1985.