Modern Phoenix The Beadle Archive

The Washburn Residence| 1955

By Blaine Drake, remodeled by Al Beadle

Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al BeadleAnyone who has personally explored the Washburn residence might have heard from another guest, or thought for themselves, that this home isn't particularly well suited for family life. Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al BeadleThe truth is it was designed by Blaine Drake for a bachelor in 1955, which explains the unusually open plan. According to a vintage article in the Arizona Republic, Mr. Washburn's directive was to blend San Francisco and Desert Modern styling, with a touch of Japanese. The home is doubly blessed as it was later remodeled by Arizona architect Al Beadle, then updated and further restored in 2005.
Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al Beadle
The wood framed house is clad in 4X8 gray Flexboard, with black strips of tin at the joints. Most unusual is the angled fascia featuring a triangle pattern every few feet. Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al BeadleThe ceiling beams used to be black, with a pale tongue and groove ceiling laid in a geometric pattern that to this day still draws the eye out floor to ceiling windows toward desert vistas. The fireplace once had a large black iron hood, but seems to have been replaced with one of Al Beadle's design. Compare it to Beadle's solution for Fingado House #1. Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al BeadleThe circular swimming pool is a classic Blaine Drake touch. As also typical in Drake homes, there are ample built in mahogany storage cupboards. Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al BeadleThe master bath was also paneled with mahogany, protected by plastic. The kitchen was originally painted deep red, and the entry wall used to be blue-green. The countertops were white Micarta. Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al Beadle
Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al Beadle
The real treasure of this house, however, is the south-facing views to the desert oasis beyond. This interstitial sitting room between the public and private zones of the home is perfect for contemplation in a pavilion-like setting.Washburn Residence by Blaine Drake, Remodeled by Al Beadle
Cinder block in the privacy walls and back yard are soldier-stacked, also typical of Drake. With is double legacy and improved condition, this home is a true classic in the canon of Desert Modernism.Photos ©2018 Modern Phoenix LLC