This building is a particularly poor example of "influential architecture" in my humble opinion, as it is too short. At least if it had some height, it might be worthy of saving. It is not. As the Arizona editor at http://www.skyscrapers.com
, I can't even add this building to our database because it is so short. At minimum, a building must have 12 stories or be at least 35 meters tall - this ugly box of a building is neither.
The exterior is plain glass. It is not even as interesting as the Abacus Tower across the street, which at least has some height to it, and some detailing around the entrance to make it interesting.
Historic? It's not capable of being registered on any sort of historic register. If it pre-dated 1950, I might be swayed by the argument to save it, but it is currently a bland 1960's or 1970's eyesore. In addition, the condition of the property is appalling.
The developer considered trying to save this building, like the nearly-vacant Century Plaza tower further east, on Central Avenue. Century Plaza is going to be rehabbed into residential units, but at least it has some height: some 15 stories tall. In addition, two 25-story buildings have been proposed for the Century Plaza site.
Unfortunately, the effort to rehab the Qwest building foundered when the developer found asbestos inside the building. Not only is it too short to provide a sufficient number of units to ensure a good ROI (return on investment), unlike Century Plaza, it is going to now be much more expensive to rehab. Not to mention that it is in much worse shape to begin with.
As much as I hate to see any building get torn down, I'm not the one footing the bill for rehabbing the building, and as long as we aren't capable of putting our money where our mouth is, it is not our place to be telling others what to do with their property. The current property is an eyesore and needs to go away. If it cannot be restored, then it needs to be destroyed and the land re-used for a better purpose. As much as I would like to see the developer rehab the building AND put up his new towers, there probably isn't enough room on that parcel of land to do that. Keep in mind the neighbors will probably fight with him on the height of the new towers, so it's not like he can just "build higher" to get enough units in to make the project work financially.
Phoenix has too many NIMBYs and BANANAs as it is, which is part of the reason why we have the MOST PATHETIC skyline of any major city in the world, and why we are a laughingstock amongst others. Worldwide cities on the same level as Phoenix's population of about 3.8 million include Sydney, Barcelona and Berlin just to name a few. Phoenix is one of the most poorly connected cities in the world, and the economy here is much too dependent on sprawl and single-family homes. Like Detroit with their over-reliance on the auto industry, Phoenix is a one-horse town. Projects like the Phoenix Resort Towers are desperately needed to expand our economy and get us out of this "sprawl at all costs" mentality that is eroding our quality of life.
The "world" doesn't "want Beadle" if this is all we have. Again, if it could be rehabbed, then I would be all for it. However, wants and desires must give way to fiscal realities of life. I may "want" a Ferrari, but if I can't afford it, it won't be happening. I may want this building saved, but if it is a poor investment, even if I had the money, I would not waste my money on such a thing. Far be it for us to dictate to someone else how to spend their money, as much as I would resent someone telling me what to do with that Ferrari because it has some sort of "historic value."
As an aside, there is current precedence for this project: Monroe Place Lofts was supposed to be the rehab of a vacant 1960s 10-story office building in downtown Phoenix, which was under way by Grace Communities, LLC. They are actually had gutted the building when, because of very strong demand, the developer decided to raze the project instead and build a 34-story tower instead. The new project is called "44 Monroe," which is the street address of the site (44 W. Monroe, Phoenix AZ 85003).
That's my two cents worth. That and 79 cents will buy you a cup of coffee. Assuming it does get destroyed, I hereby offer to take my Canon 20d (8.2 megapixel dSLR with my 28-70 mm L-series lens) and thoroughly photograph it from all angles for posterity's sake, and to make those photos available to anyone free of charge.
Thanks for reading all of this. I hope it does not offend anyone, but it is my opinion, for whatever that's worth.
dakra at cox dot net