Roger Brevoort has been interested in architectural history ever since growing up in a 1920’s house in Garden City, New York.
Growing up 20 miles east of Manhattan, as a youngster, he saw the skyline change. In the early 60s he saw the World Trade Center go up, Shea Stadium constructed, and the Verrazano Bridge towers rise. He also listened to stories from his father about being a descendant of Dutch colonists who settled on Manhattan in the 1650s.
Roger attended the University of New Hampshire where his fascination with history and architecture matured into a commitment to preserving buildings and neighborhoods that reflect community heritage. He moved on to the University of Vermont, where he earned an MS in Historic Preservation in the late 70s, at a time when the historic preservation movement was just taking hold.
Roger never expected to leave New England, but he was enticed by a job opportunity at the Arizona Historic Preservation Office in Phoenix. He jumped at the opportunity for new horizons, adventure, and proximity to the Grand Canyon. Roger was immediately involved in identifying many of the original historic districts in Phoenix, establishing boundaries, researching architects and architectural styles.
He bought his first house in the Coronado neighborhood at age 26, a classic Southwest Style house that was actually collapsing, but hey, for $37,000, it was a deal. Who cared about having operable windows and a solid floor?
Professionally, he worked to get the neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places concurrent with the other central Phoenix neighborhoods, while also working throughout the Valley and State on establishing districts around the state. He has literally been involved with preservation in Phoenix from the beginning.
He became an integral member of the statewide preservation community and has been a well-known spokesman for historic preservation throughout Phoenix for the past 35 years, and is still on the cutting edge working with groups such as Modern Phoenix to promote the emerging popularity of Mid-Century modern houses as a key element of Phoenix’ architectural heritage.
It was only logical that Roger would integrate his interest in architectural history into the real estate profession. “It is really all the same thing, interpreting architectural history and design are fundamental to the real estate process,” he says now. Roger obtained his real estate license in 1987, and for 35 years he balanced real estate sales with an active consulting practice.
He is known as an outspoken advocate for mid-century modern architecture and for “pushing the envelope” when it comes to defining what is historic from the recent past. He has lived in a 1959 ranch house in Arcadia for 29 years, expanding it of course, but respecting the original design of the house so the addition is both integrated and invisible.
He recently wrote a brochure, Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods, A Realtor’s Perspective, highlighting the key features of the districts, focusing either on the design, the setting, or characteristics that a buyer would want to know. It is really a guide to familiarize buyers with the options, supporting his interest in working with buyers to find the right house in a neighborhood with architectural character that fits their budget.
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