Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Architecture of Paradise Palms: Decorative Concrete Screen Block

Paradise Palms Entry Wall at Spencer Street & Seneca Dr/Nahatan Way

One of the hallmarks of Paradise Palms architecture is the use of decorative concrete screen block found throughout the community. Used to delineate breezeways, carports, sunscreens and to dress up otherwise plain concrete block walls, the use of decorative concrete screen block is a defining character of the neighborhood.  Mostly found on the Palmer & Krisel-designed homes, Tropical Estates homes, Fontainebleau Estates homes and various custom homes throughout the community there are approximately two-dozen different patterns of decorative concrete block found in Paradise Palms.  The Americana homes and Stellar Greens homes used other materials – mainly brick and stone – for accents, while only one of the Miranti Models – the Monterey – featured decorative concrete screen block in the carport design.

Champagne Bubble decorative concrete screen block

Several block patterns were used more than others – the champagne bubble block, the concentric ‘La Fiesta’, the ‘La Costa’ and the eight-pointed star design are a few of the more popular designs.  Other patterns – the fleur-de-lis, the diamond-X block, waves, diamonds and simple diagonals can be found in Tropical Estates – Pawnee Drive, Seneca Lane, Algonquin Drive, Ottawa Drive and Commanche Drive offer some of the more unique and rare decorative concrete screen block patterns.  Paradise Palms’ first tract, the Palmer & Krisel-designed Unit 1 offers some of the more dramatic, full-fa├žade screen block designs which can be seen from Aztec Way, Cayuga Parkway, Pawnee Drive, Chickasaw Way, Seminole Circle and Arapahoe Circle.

Eight-pointed star decorative concrete screen block
Over time tree roots, soil subsidence and exterior renovations have reduced the amount of Paradise Palms’ signature decorative concrete screen blocks.  Finding local resources other than Craigslist can be taxing; luckily there are a few resources in nearby Arizona and California that still produce a very limited selection of screen block. Superlite in Phoenix offers three designs while Orco Block – with locations in Riverside and Indio – offers a slightly more expanded collection which can be obtained by contacting local block supplier Allied Building Materials.  If you still can’t get enough decorative concrete screen block, our friend Jack LeVine at Very Vintage Vegas has a great visual database of over 50 designs on his website, and personally has one of the most comprehensive physical collections we’ve ever seen.  Here’s a look at some of the trademark Paradise Palms decorative concrete screen block designs that help define our community: 



Square decorative concrete screen block found on Palmer & Krisel homes
Square decorative concrete screen block found on Palmer & Krisel homes
Square decorative concrete screen block found on Palmer & Krisel homes
Square decorative concrete screen block found on Palmer & Krisel homes
Square/cross decorative concrete screen block found on a Palmer & Krisel home
Square/cross decorative concrete screen block found on a Palmer & Krisel home
Square/cross decorative concrete screen block found on a Palmer & Krisel home
Champagne Bubble decorative concrete screen block
Champagne Bubble decorative concrete screen block
Champagne Bubble decorative concrete screen block
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Decorative concrete screen block wall found on a Palmer & Krisel home
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Full-decorative Fleur-de-lis concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1
Full-decorative concrete screen block wall found in Unit 1. For those that have lived in Paradise Palms a few years, you'll remember that this wall is actually a replacement of the original which had deteriorated - for those with a keen eye this is the 'Cordova' block from Orco
Decorative concrete screen block on a Miranti Monterey home
Decorative concrete screen block wall found in Fontainebleau Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall found in Fontainebleau Estates
Decorative carport concrete screen block found in Fontainebleau Estates
Decorative garage concrete screen block found in Fontainebleau Estates
Decorative carport support concrete screen block found in Fontainebleau Estates 
Decorative concrete screen block insert in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall on a home in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall on a home in Tropical Estates
Decorative concrete screen block wall on a home in Tropical Estates



Custom home with decorative-concrete block-screen facade on Eastern Avenue
Decorate concrete block inserts
Decorate star concrete block inserts
Decorate concrete block inserts
Decorative concrete screen block wall
Decorative concrete screen block wall inserts - one lucky neighbor gets both the Champagne Bubble block & the eight-pointed star block
Low decorative concrete screen block wall
Decorate concrete screen block wall
Decorative concrete screen block insert

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