Tucson Modernism Week 2014



Lots to do during this week as usual. See full schedule here (some events require tickets): http://www.tucsonmod.com/schedule.

The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation presents Tucson Modernism Week 2014, beginning Friday, October 3rd through Saturday, October 11th. The celebration will feature a series of programs, film, lectures and events highlighting Tucson’s Mid-century Modern design and architecture throughout the city, along with the very popular vintage trailer show.

This year, Tucson Modernism Week spotlights Architect Icon Robert Swaim who was a principal at Cook & Swaim and CNWCS Architects from 1961 – 1969 before founding his own firm, Swaim Associates, Ltd. In 1969. Swaim’s considerable modern contributions include Orchard River Townhomes and the Western Savings and Loan inverted pyramid building. Swaim Associates, Ltd. is one of the largest architectural firms in Southern Arizona.

Tucson’s Modernism captured the exuberance of the post WWII era, and is defined by clean, simple lines and a casual informality. In the Southern Arizona desert the movement has come to be defined as Sonoran Modern with the use of regional materials, adaptation to the desert climate and an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Gala event at the Chase Bank on Broadway/Country Club last night with oldies music, 8 well-dressed live female models and 3 equally well-dressed mannequins, antique cars & trucks to entertainment the crowd. I even attended in a vintage maroon leatherman jacket (of one of my uncles) with patent leather shoes & matching handbag. Check out last two days of Modernism Week today & tomorrow – events, lectures & a bus tour.

    • I can’t go to Tucson every day this week, but I dearly wish that I could. My own version of the neon tour and the Charles Phoenix show last weekend were excellent!

  2. Dropped by the Mid-Century Furniture Marketplace at 2903 E. Broadway (north side, west of Country Club) and enjoyed the retro furniture, accessories, jewelry, art work, knick-knacks — today till 5 p.m., all day tomorrow 10 to 5 p.m. Also check out the super modern metal/crystal Christmas trees, with strobe lighting.
    Pick up the Modernism Week schedule & Collector’s Guide, book your lecture tickets, etc. at the main check in table there.

  3. Thanks for the update. Each time I see the site there’s another event or two I want to attend!

    • Yes, there’s a lot of updates and things to do every year. I’ve been to this Modernism Week in the past and it’s quite amazing, as a lot of effort is obviously spent in organizing it.

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