On Friday, July 19, 2019, Cosanti Foundation Board Member Steve Ostwinkle,
Cosanti Foundation Director of Development and Planning Scott Riley, Roger
Tomalty and Mary Hoadley toured the 202/South Mountain Freeway due to open
December 20, 2019. Thanks to the efforts of Joe Salazar of the ADOT Aesthetics
Office, the 22 miles from the I-10 at Ahwatukee to the I 10 at 59 th Avenue are
embellished with designs inspired by Wright and Soleri.

Joe Salazar, ADOT

Roger developed the yellow Riverbank designs from an early Soleri ceramics carving and the green Leaf/Portal designs from the Arcosanti Vaults in 2014, which appear on barriers, sound walls, bridge abutments, columns and land form graphics. Victor Sidy, former Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, (who chose to become an architect after a trip to Arcosanti) and Monique de Los Rios, Arcosanti Alumna, representing Maricopa Association of Governments, were also on the design team. The trip was a treat and chance to see the significant progress since our last visit in December 2017.

The Ocatillo Settlement pattern starting at I-10 south features horizontals that carry through the whole 22 miles unifying the experience of travel while the 5 character areas emphasize historical and geographical differences, culminating in the dramatic urban/mountain link at 59 th Avenue. Two epic road cuts through South Mountain, accomplished with great respect for the natural and cultural heritage, and the half mile long Salt River Bridge add to the stunning and spectacular roadway that was bonded first in 1985 and includes 13 interchanges, 11 miles of sound walls, 360,000 cubic yards of concrete, 40 million pounds of rebar, and 990,000 tons of asphalt! This new segment is expected to divert 30% of traffic from central Phoenix, easing congestion and saving travel time while affording beautiful views of the Sonoran desert.

Cosanti Foundation Board Member Steve Oswinkle

Seeing the implementation of design concept work done 5 years ago is incredible. The Public/Private partnership, Connect 202, that is accomplishing the completion of this $1.7 billion project, is remarkable for the cost savings developed by subtle changes to the designs to promote buildability. The 30 year maintenance requirement for the build out has incentivized great craftsmanship and durability.


Many thanks to Carmello Aceveda, Joe Salazar, Leroy Brady, Yuri Robles, Travis Legare and Robby Richards of ADOT, Anne DeBoard of Kimley Horne and Victor Sidy from Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the thousands working on the ground for making this trip and the whole project such a success!

Text and Photos by Mary Hoadley


Last week Arcosanti hosted the EPS Group for a topographical survey that will help to lay the groundwork for the eventual paving of our entry road.


The survey crew spent seven days setting arial targets and developing a digital terrain model that will inform how we go about constructing a roadway for our residents and 40,000+ yearly visitors.

The survey was coordinated by Planning Department head Kevin Pappa. The project was funded by supporters of our Giving Tuesday 2017 campaign. Information gathered last week will be critical in the development a comprehensive plan for how to accomplish our long time goal of paving the the Arcosanti Road!

We’re honored to announce a partnership with Scottsdale Arts and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to bring their program participants an immersive sculptural workshop experience that they won’t forget!

The workshop is multi-week immersive learning experience, where students will be using upcycled materials to co-create a collaborative sculpture addressing issues surrounding responsible water use. Through the creative process, the students will be exposed to and gain skills in ceramics, metalworking, and aluminum casting, and develop a better understanding of what it means to be an informed and accountable citizen of our planet.

Resident artist Elana Novali worked in collaboration with Norm Pratt of Scottsdale Arts and Cosanti Foundation Director of Education Rob Jackson to create the five day curriculum. Over the course of the month of July, three separate groups of students from around the greater Scottsdale region participated in the fabrication of component parts for a sculpture that will be displayed as part of both the Arcosanti Convergence and Canal Convergence Festival in 2019.

You can read more about the program in this article published by the Scottsdale Independent. 




Remembering the Early Days


California architect Lamont Langworthy
with Jeff Stein

Not everyone reading this is young enough to have worked on Arcosanti. Some folks sought-out Paolo Soleri’s ideas long before there even WAS an Arcosanti. They came, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, to Cosanti, a very different sort of architectural experiment than Arcosanti, intimate in its scale, intricate in how it’s spaces connect, its 5-acres the basis for all non-profits in Paradise Valley. (It’s true: if you’re a non-profit in what is now Phoenix’s wealthiest suburb, you must have property of at least 5 acres. )

Lew Davis, the great depression-era southwest painter and his wife, a ceramicist, had, bought, in 1936, the pink ranch house and 5 acres that would later become Cosanti. By 1956, although Doubletree Road was a dirt track, and even Scottsdale Road was not paved north of Camelback, and there was only one other house within a mile of Cosanti, it was beginning to feel too crowded for the Davis’s. They sold the place to the Soleris and moved to the mountains.

Lamont Langworthy, architect from Graton, California, remembers it this way:

“Paolo and Colly had settled on a large lot on Doubletree Road when D.K. Taylor, an aspiring architect and my mentor, told me that Paolo could use some help building (excavating really) a below ground concrete house. I was immediately hired for $1.00 an hour and everybody was happy.

“Paolo would build a dirt mound on the ground, form some ribs in it, reinforce it minimally with some chicken wire, pour about 1.5 inches of concrete , then dig out underneath it, occasionally installing a column support or wall as we progressed. Every now and then he took off to sketch up drawings of a city on a dam or cities combined with bridges, all on long rolls of butcher paper. While he was doing that, I learned how to mix concrete in the Italian Method: just make a pile of materials and mix it with water. A little bit of dirt thrown in will provide the right color.
“Then, Paolo started making wind bells, having devised a method to support his giant ideas. Occasionally I would go out in the front yard and dig cone-shaped holes in the sandy soil, then fill each one with ceramic ‘slip’, let it set for a while, then suck out the slip when the walls got to be about ¼” thick. Then I’d set it on a shelf for further drying. Later Paolo would quickly carve his magic scribbles on the exterior of the rough cone. After installing a clapper and hanging wires, we would set it on his shady shelf structure to sell to curious passers-by. All bells for the first few years were ceramic but Paolo did improve his designs by making some molds. This was my great work after graduating from the University of Washington Architecture School.

“Cosanti back then was all by itself with desert all around. Paolo and Colly had bought it with a small house and gutted the living area for a large table where we had wonderful lunches by Colly, then a ½ hour siesta per Italian tradition. I learned from Paolo that creative thinkers have to actually do something in the real world. Later on, I would get my contractors license under the name of “The Master Builder, Inc,” as I had to become a builder since no one in his right mind would bid on some of my hillside houses.”

That was then. Today Cosanti, an Arizona Historic Site, is as vibrant as ever, the center of Soleri windbell operations, hosting daily tours and special events, and undergoing continuous preservation/renovation efforts supervised by longtime Cosanti resident and builder and executive VP Roger Tomalty. Roger and workshoppers have made great strides in solving issues of handicap visitor access, solar protection, and have recently completed the total renovation of Soleri’s first office and drafting space, adjacent to the original pink ranch house.

Come for a visit and experience it for yourself as this architectural treasure, a repository of concrete ideas about how to live in the Sonoran desert moves into the 21st century. And if you were part of building this midcentury-modern icon let us know how it was for you. You’ll make it even more meaningful for us.


Saturday, September 14th 2019

Arcosanti’s annual event pays tribute to Paolo Soleri’s wife, Corolyn “Colly” Soleri with a delicious dinner menu of Colly’s favorite foods followed by a classical music performance. This year’s featured performer is Gianluca Guida, a classically trained pianist who hails from Paolo Soleri’s home city of Turin, Italy.

Event Schedule:

4:30 pm Complimentary tour of Arcosanti
5:30 pm Wine and Cheese
6:00 pm Concert : $20 ($10 for students)
7:30 pm Dinner : $20

Tickets available here.


Fryderyk Chopin

3 Mazurkas op. 59 

Moderato Allegretto Vivace 

Polonaise in A flat major, op. 53 “Heroic” 

Ballade n. 4 in F minor, op. 52 

Franz Schubert

Piano Sonata in A major, D959 



Scherzo. Allegro vivace – Trio. Un poco più lento

Rondo. Allegretto – Presto


Summer Salad with Citrus Vinagrette

Watermelon Feta Salad

Cucumber Quinoa Salad


Pasta with Sauteed Peppers and Smokey Mozarrella

Sheet Pan Chile Lime Glazed Chicken

Granny’s borscht


Berries with creme fraiche