Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Vernon D. Swaback

1940 -

Honored as Historymaker 2019

Internationally Recognized Architect

Oral History Transcript:

Video by Inspired Media 360 for the Historical League

Vernon Swaback's career was launched at the age of seventeen when he became a member of Taliesin (Wisconsin) and Taliesin West (Arizona), working directly under Frank Lloyd Wright. He remained with the Wright Foundation until 1978, when he founded Vernon Swaback Associates, now the 40-person firm of Swaback Architects + Planners. In addition to the firm's reputation for outstanding architecture, its earliest advocacy for community planning was realized in award-winning 1,040-acre Arizona Biltmore Estates, the 2,600-acre Mountain Park Ranch, and the 8,000-acre DC Ranch in Scottsdale. Mr. Swaback was engaged by the Kohler Company to guide the planning for the historic 500-acre village of Kohler, Wisconsin. In 1999, he founded Studio V Interior Design and Architecture and in 2011, the nonprofit Two Worlds Community Foundation. Mr. Swaback has authored 14 books on architecture, art, design, and community. His decades of public service include service on the Phoenix Economic Advisory Board and giving the keynote address to the 200-person citizen committee creating the city's first district plan. In Scottsdale, he served on the Urban Development Committee, the Public Art Selection Committee, and as vice-chair of the citizens group to establish the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. He has been both Chairman and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and serves as Chairman of Cattletrack Arts and Preservation. Mr. Swaback has been inducted into the College of Fellows by both the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners. In 2008 he was honored with induction into Scottsdale's "History Hall of Fame."