Alison King

Phoenix, Arizona

After World War II, Phoenix, Arizona experienced explosive growth, making it a hotbed for experimentation by some of the nation’s greatest Modern architects. Yet today, developers are targeting many of these Midcentury Modern buildings for demolition. Even a world-famous Frank Lloyd Wright is not immune; at one point, the house he built for his son David – his only residence designed with a circular spiral plan -- was threatened as well. Such constant threats make Alison King’s work especially vital. As the founder of the Modern Phoenix Neighborhood Network and the award-winning website, King has been researching, documenting, and writing about Arizona’s modern culture and architecture since 2003. What started as a way to catalogue midcentury neighborhoods quickly exploded into a hub for research, reporting, and activism.  King’s passion has engaged a new generation of preservationists and has sparked a movement of like-minded Modern enthusiasts who, in her words, “are doers, not lookers.” Their energy has led to an annual home tour, Modern Phoenix Week featuring educational and entertainment events and advocacy efforts throughout the region.  Many buildings are still threatened in Phoenix, but King’s leadership, and the grassroots community she’s helped inspire will ensure that more of Phoenix’s Midcentury marvels are restored. With her focus on the recent past, King is ensuring her place in the future of the preservation movement.