Tucson Modernism Week returns Friday with an entirely new schedule from last year but the same goals in mind.
“We want people to look at the city in a different way,” said Demion Clinco, president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation. “Our modernist heritage is really exciting.”
The three-day, mostly free celebration of Tucson’s postwar world includes talks with historians, a midcentury modern marketplace and a vintage neon open house.
A full schedule of events can be found at tucsonmod.com online.
Here are our top three must-sees.
‘Icon: Edward Nelson’ lecture
5 p.m. Friday. Intermountain Academy, 555 S. Tucson Blvd.
Hear a lecture on the architectural design work of Edward Nelson from Edward Nelson.
Nelson was a prominent architect in Tucson for decades, first with his own firm, then in a partnership with Gerald Cain, James Wares and William Cook.
His footprint on the community, by way of buildings and private homes, includes the Tucson Music Hall, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church’s original sanctuary, the U.S. Post Office building on South Cherrybell Stravenue and Asarco headquarters on North Seventh Avenue.
Nelson, 95, still lives in Tucson.
“He is one of those people who had a real, significant impact on the visual sensibility of our city,” Clinco said. “To hear from people who worked during that era really resonates.”
‘Carole Mallory — Unscheduled Departure’ talk
6 p.m. Saturday. Intermountain Academy.
Mallory is not a Tucson native, but her time as a stewardess for Pan American World Airways and as a supermodel “encapsulates the midcentury American experience,” Clinco said.
Mallory started her professional life as a stewardess after graduating from Pennsylvania State University. Her modeling career landed her on the cover of several major publications, including Cosmopolitan and French Vogue.
Today, Mallory splits her time between being a teacher, actress and journalist.
Clinco said Mallory was a good fit for Tucson Modernism Week because of Tucson’s rich aviation history.
“It is a topic we want to explore more next year,” he said. “Carole is a preview of what’s to come.”
Modernism Home Tour
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Starting point is the Murphey Building, 2936 E. Broadway.
One of the most popular aspects of Tucson Modernism Week, this year’s home tour is being presented in conjunction with the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The self-guided tour will feature both midcentury modern and contemporary spaces. Properties include Herbert Residential, a senior housing facility built in 1974 that was converted into apartments in 2012, and a chapel designed by Paolo Soleri, founder of the futuristic Arizona community Arcosanti.
Soleri died in April.
“It is no longer used as a chapel and not usually open to the public,” Clinco said. “This is a rare treat.” Admission to the home tour will also get you into the $10 vintage trailer show on Sunday. The trailer show runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.