Apricot Glazed Chicken from Liberty Market
Heather Hoch
Apricot Glazed Chicken from Liberty Market

The experience of using the bathrooms at Liberty Market starts before you even set foot in the communal washroom. First, you have to walk by the giant window into the market's kitchen. If you don't get distracted by watching the cooks and chefs preparing customers' food, you'll wend your way down a hall and into the restrooms. Now, you have a choice to make. There are five private stalls, and each has been custom-designed by one of the founding partners of Liberty Market. Everything from the floor tile to the music playing inside was specifically designed for that one stall. Exit your chosen stall, and spruce yourself up a bit in the wall-size mirror that will greet you. We're not saying you should make your way out to Gilbert just to see this bathroom; we're just saying you wouldn't be disappointed if you did.

The David and Gladys Wright House is the recently rescued and controversial "round house" designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright toward the end of his life, in 1952, for his son David and daughter-in-law Gladys. The couple lived in the home until their deaths — David at 102 in 1997; Gladys in 2008 at age 104. It was one of Wright's last designs, completed when he was 84. Surrounded by McMansions, the 2,500-square-foot concrete house features a spiral design and a curved entry ramp, as well as other traditional Wrightian design elements such as built-in seating, Cherokee red floors, and low ceilings.

Recently saved from demolition by a group that plans to restore the home, adding a subterranean education center, a cafe, a bookstore, and a Wright archive on the land, the facility will host public events and school field trips, as well as house Wright researchers and scholars-in-residence — sort of a mini-Taliesin. In the meantime, Sarah Levi, Frank Lloyd Wright's great-great granddaughter, lives in the house as its first scholar in residence and gives tours of the home, pointing out its architectural anomalies, its structural strengths, and the swimming pool where actress Anne Baxter taught her to swim.

They say home is where the heart is. Well, if that's the case, Phoenix's heart is full of midcentury love. Midcentury architecture is everywhere around this town, and Phoenix gets to boast it was the home of Ralph Haver, one of the coolest Midcentury Modern residential architects ever. You know, not like we're biased or anything. There's so much Midcentury Modern everything around the Valley, it'd be nearly impossible to see it all. But our favorite way to get a good sample is the Modern Phoenix Home Tour. As part of Modern Phoenix Week, the tour allows participants full access into several neighborhoods and dozens of modern homes. During the sold-out 11th installation of the event, modern enthusiasts explored neighborhoods in South Scottsdale, including Town and Country, HyView, and Sherwood Heights. And with the self-led model, you can ogle all the slanted roofs and cinder block buildings at your own pace.

480-874-4654
www.modernphoenix.net

Readers Choice: Roosevelt Historic Home Tour

Driving through Windsor Square feels a bit like traveling through a time machine on the fritz. The uptown Phoenix neighborhood is one of the city's oldest suburbs, and it's home to an array of architectural styles. Along its curving streets you'll find homes ranging from 1920s Craftsman-style bungalows to 1950s ranches. That's because construction of the homes stopped and started surrounding the Great Depression and World War II. It makes for a lovely history lesson, and in addition to being picturesque, the 'hood is close to a cluster of Upward Projects restaurants, as well as the Medlock Plaza shopping strip, home to indie shopping standbys Frances and Stinkweeds.

Central Avenue to Seventh Street and Camelback Road to Oregon Avenue
www.windsorsquarephoenix.org

West Phoenix is on the way up. As the light rail makes its way, slowly but surely, up 19th Avenue and to the West Valley, the little neighborhoods along the route are looking more and more adorable. Washington Park, in particular, is home to a slew of mid-century slump block ranches (some with weeping mortar still intact) that with a little care and elbow grease could be the making of the next "it" neighborhood. Home to a stellar dog park, lively activity center, and a totally renovated Phoenix Tennis Center, it seems primed to be just that.

Bethany Home Road to Glendale Avenue and 19th Avenue to 25th Avenue

Homebuyers with a hankering for downtown living are looking to lay down roots in the Coronado neighborhood. With roughly 5,000 homes within boundaries loosely extending from Seventh to 16th streets and Thomas to McDowell roads, this midtown subdivision is easily one of the largest historic neighborhoods in Phoenix. With so much space and so many styles to choose from — pueblo, ranch, bungalow, the list goes on — residents have a better chance of buying within their budget. While home designs may differ, most dwellings in this downtown suburb are small in stature, offering an average of two to three bedrooms. Petite as that may seem to some, it's perfect for the family that's just getting started. While Coronado has definitely become more kid-friendly over the years thanks to home tours, art fairs, and gentrification, it stills remains a prime spot for serious artists, making Coronado creative cohabitation at its finest.

www.greatercoronado.com

Encanto-Palmcroft is one of Phoenix's priciest historic neighborhoods. Fortunately for those who like to fawn over early-20th-century tudors and colonial callbacks, a walk through this European-style setup of abodes is not only open to the public, but also is absolutely free. Dating back to 1927, this (technically) West Phoenix pocket of 330 homes is situated along circular drives, winding roads, and the 222-acre Encanto Park. For newcomers and nonresidents, this maze-like area is easy to get lost in, but you'll hear little complaint from pedestrians who like to take in the suburban scenery. Here, well-manicured lawns and rose gardens highlight all styles of residence, from pueblo to ranch revival. Whether it's a home tour, a film crew, or simply a nearby neighborhood dog walker, residents are sure to find their fair share of window shoppers in Palmcroft-Encanto.

www.encantopalmcroft.org
Welcome Diner
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Whether you've already made the gallery rounds, need to stop mid-First Friday runaround, or want to pregame the monthly downtown Phoenix art walk, Welcome Diner's patio is the place to be. There's a more than fair chance you'll bump into creative types from the Grand Avenue and Roosevelt Row circuits while lounging at one of the communal tables, typically rousing with conversations about pop culture, local news, and the latest exhibitions. Add to the din cheap beer, good cocktails, and hearty Southern-style food and you've got the perfect recipe for an arts district-adjacent late-night hang.

Readers Choice: Roosevelt Row

Lisa Sette Gallery
Andrew Pielage

Lisa Sette and her eponymous gallery are nothing short of institutions in Phoenix's art world. Over 30 years, the gallery has earned a reputation both locally and nationally as a serious exhibition space that features seriously talented artists. Housed in a partially subterranean Al Beadle building in Central Phoenix, Lisa Sette Gallery's current artist roster reads a bit like a who's who of Arizona's most notable contemporary artists, including Carrie Marill and James Turrell. For art collectors and appreciators alike, Lisa Sette Gallery is in a class all its own.

Readers Choice: Modified Arts

When Arizona State University's art school relocated its Step Gallery to one of Michael Levine's rehabbed warehouses, we had a sneaking suspicion that we were going to love it. Not only is the raw, industrial space great for displaying artwork, it's also home to studio spaces for the art school's grad students. Seeing completed exhibitions from up-and-coming artists in the same building as their fellow students' in-progress pieces is kind of an art-nerd fantasy. And it's one we get to live out every First Friday.

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