Scottsdale plans to honor Paolo Soleri by naming a street after the internationally renowned artist and architect.
The name of the Italian-born Soleri, famous for his bronze wind bells, would grace a street nearby the planned Scottsdale Waterfront development at Scottsdale and Camelback roads.
The street, between Goldwater Boulevard and Marshall Way, would also be near a public art piece Soleri is designing for Scottsdale’s downtown Arizona Canal beautification project.
"As we are in the beginning years of the millennium, we, the citizens of Scottsdale, have the opportunity to celebrate his profound contribution to mankind," wrote Lisa Scafuro, who petitioned the city in February to bestow Soleri with his own street.
Scafuro, 44, a writer and friend of Soleri, requested that Scottsdale use "Via Soleri" to honor the artisan. "Via" means "street" in Italian.
"We certainly are reviewing it, and everything looks positive at this time," said Ed Gawf, deputy city manager. "It would recognize 70 or 80 years worth of contributions. He clearly has an association with Arizona, and to some degree, Scottsdale."
Soleri is known for Arcosanti, an urban architecture commune near Cordes Junction, and for Cosanti, Soleri’s Paradise Valley home and sculpture studio. He worked with Frank Lloyd Wright at Scottsdale’s Taliesin West in the 1940s.
Scafuro said this week that Soleri will turn 85 years old in June, and said his birthday would be an ideal time to honor the architect, who has written six books.
"He is truly a wonderful human being and we are very fortunate to have him residing in Arizona," said Scafuro, who added she attended Arizona State University’s School of Architecture because Soleri is a guest lecturer there.
In 2000, Scottsdale changed the name of the old Civic Center Boulevard to Drinkwater Boulevard in honor of the late Mayor Herb Drinkwater. Known as "Mr. Scottsdale," Drinkwater served on the City Council for eight years, and as mayor for 16 years.
And last year, General Dynamics honored World War II fighter pilot ace Joe Foss by dedicating a street on the company’s Scottsdale campus in his name.
Unlike some street-name changes, Gawf said the planned Via Soleri would be relatively simple since there are no businesses — just property owners — on the street, which is now called Montecito Avenue.
Montecito is on the south side of the Nordstrom parking garage, and sits on vacant land.
The street is planned to be part of the luxury condominium community of the Scottsdale Waterfront, which is slated to have twin residential towers, restaurants, shopping and a museum.