Valley Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, AZ

Looking back two years ago to the Docomomo Symposium in Phoenix, I had a chance to see a lot of high modern including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West and Paolo Soleri’s experimental Arcosanti.

But beyond that, there is a large body of modest and mainstream modern mixed in to daily life. The church pictured here was designed by one of the most prolific ecclesiastical architects of the mid-century, Harold Wagoner. Through his thought leadership and involvement in designing building programs for several denominations as well as writing for various publications, he was able to become the go-to architect for this work, designing more than 500 buildings in 36 states. His designs run the gamut from strikingly modern to typical revival styles. This one falls in the modern camp.

The main sanctuary at the rear of the campus features a dramatic double height porte cochere. The main buildings are clad in the same stone and blend into the landscape. The more recent multi-sided chapel near the main intersection is also quite striking. Unfortunately we could not see the interiors on this day.

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