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August 24, 2010

Decorative Concrete Screen Block and Sorry Y’all………………


By Sara In AZ


OK, let’s get the bad part out of the way first. I hate to tell y’all about misfortune in the MCM world, and I know there might be a few tears shed by what I am about to tell ya – esp. by Annie B. who has a special fondness for concrete screen block. But just know that I feel as badly as y’all do about this. There is a house in my neighborhood with this AWESOME full wall of decorative concrete screen block surrounding the front door and porch area in the front. Mike and I would always pass by and admire the block because it really added something special to the house, it made it stand out from the others. Recently we saw the house go up for sale and unfortunately a flipper bought it. We fretted that they may knock down the wall because, well because it is different. I watched the house and when the flippers put the house back up for sale the block was still there. Whew…… And then I passed by about 2 weeks later and half the wall had been taken down. I about threw myself on the ground and almost had a tantrum right there! I quick looked in the alley hoping they had dumped them there and then I could haul them all back to my house, but nothing was there. Bummer. They must have taken them all down and brought them to the dump immediately. Double bummer. In my own little dream world I hope the screen block that was taken away is in a much happier place now!

Decorative Screen Block Heaven perhaps??? 🙂

Here is a before picture of the house.

And here is the dreaded after.

Here is the block from the inside of the half wall. You can see the cool plus sign type design.

Are y’all throwing a tantrum like I did? I know, I know. Sara is here for y’all – now, now it is gonna be OK. Poor little screen block. 🙁

OK, glad that is out of the way!  I thought it would be fun to go around Phoenix and try to find as many different types of decorative concrete screen block as we could. We have concrete screen block out the wazoo here, especially in the older areas built in the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s! We do LOVE our concrete fencing around here!

Check out this kind of ‘Reverse Plus Sign’ type of block.

And who does not love the wagon wheel? I do!

And here is the double wagon wheel, so it actually looks like a wagon wheel. Weeeeeeeeee!

I like to think of this one as a type of hourglass design with a diamond in the middle.

Here is a cool fancy X type design.

I totally love the circle block!

And do y’all remember this house that was for sale a while back here in AZ? It has the same awesome circle block, as pictured above, fencing in the whole courtyard! Be still my heart!

Here are some more circle blocks  just on a smaller scale. Me loves!

And lastly, this ultra cool block in sort of a  lightning bolt pattern. I love how the design of all the blocks together makes either an X or O pattern depending on how you look at it. Really awesome block!

Stay tuned y’all! More Decorative Concrete Screen Block on Thursday!

Please remember to vote for Eartha Kitsch in the Kozy Shack Contest! Please spread the word if you can, we need to get Eartha’s votes up! Click HERE for the link. Thanks y’all!

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23 Responses to Decorative Concrete Screen Block and Sorry Y’all………………

  1. MoonDoggie Reply

    August 24, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I love concrete screen blocks and hope to have one of my very own one day. My favourite is that circle one followed closely by the one with smaller circles… *dreams*

  2. sablemable Reply

    August 24, 2010 at 7:11 am

    And to give me “bad” news before my first cuppa, Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! LOL!

    Beautiful concrete work!

    Excellent post, girlfriend!

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    August 24, 2010 at 11:25 am

    That poor little house! Those poor blocks! I hate seeing perfectly good Mid-Century torn out and disposed of. Yeck.

    Also, those circle blocks are by far and away my favorite. Yum!

  4. Andrea Reply

    August 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Oh! So sad! Especially that they seemingly took them to the dump right away – I would have been looking in the alley for them too!

    However, those are some gorgeous examples! I would love to eventually work some into my front yard.

  5. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Moon Doggie – I totally agree – Sacrilege! 🙁

    Sable – Sorry, didn’t mean to do that to ya so early! 🙂 Thanks girl!

    Ruth – I know, I was totally depressed that day when I saw all those blocks were gone. 🙁 Wait until you see the next post, you may have a new favorite!

    Andrea – Thank You! I was soooooo hoping they were in the alley, but no such luck. 🙁 I am really hoping to have some screen block someday too!

    • Erin Reply

      October 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Sara, we are searching high and low for those exact blocks in your post. Can you give me the address of that house? Maybe they’ll sell them to us?

      • Sara In AZ Reply

        October 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        Hi Erin – Sorry, the block they removed is LONG gone as the flippers who re-did the house had it hauled off immediately. 🙁

      • Jean Ottosen Reply

        July 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm

        Is anyone still looking for the blocks with the “+” (“plus signs”) design? I’m in South Carolina, and have about a hundred…make me an offer! M r s F a u x o r b at g m a i l dot com

  6. Annie B. Reply

    August 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH……I only thought I was prepared for the shock! Oh, Sara, I’m ill!!!!! The “after” photo makes me sicker than that of the jellied tongue. My gosh, I’m gonna need therapy, very expensive, extended therapy. Maybe for what I’d spend on therapy I could rent a U-Haul, drive to Phoenix, and………OK, I’m dreaming.

    THOSE WAGON WHEELS! Never in all my born days have I seen anything that spectacular and unique. Those large circles! Those small circles! That amazing swirly lightning bolt pattern. Good golly, Miss Molly! Why can’t I have???? All!!!

    I own only three concrete blocks at this time. They’re the square in the square pattern (the reverse plus signs above) and I love them like pets. In fact, I’m going home tonight and hug all three of them.

    Sara, thank you thank you thank you for a fabulous post. More please!!

  7. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Annie B. – Uh-oh, I hope you don’t need too much therapy! 😉 It really is so sad though, isn’t it? I knew you were gonna be really bummed. 🙁

    Not all of these designs are currently being produced – I wish they all still were though.

    I have no idea why I called that one block you have the reverse plus sign??? Me is kooky sometimes! 🙂 I should probably call it a suspended square.

    Definitely hug your blocks tonight!

  8. MoonDoggie Reply

    August 26, 2010 at 5:28 am

    “hug your blocks tonight”

    But what if you’re blockless? I feel so empty… 😉

  9. Annie B. Reply

    August 26, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Oh, MoonDoogie. How tragic to be totally blockless. Maybe there’s a market out there for inflatable screen blocks for those who have no blocks at all. Nerf blocks? Something!


  10. Katie Reply

    August 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Love your designs. I just bought a mid century home in the Palm Springs area and am so excited about decorating. I hadn’t thought of doing anything to the exterior, but your post has given me a lot of inspiration, thanks. I love the circle blocks too!

  11. amy Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

    The circle block is a very famous design called the “haver block” we can make any of them for you!

    • Adriana Maria Reply

      July 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Hi. Do you still make screen blocks?? Are you in So Cal?? We’re looking for the Haver and a second design for exterior and interior design projects. Hope to hear from you..thx!

  12. Annie B. Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Where are you, Amy?????????????

  13. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Annie B. – She is here is Phoenix. I will contact her and try to do a post on any info she has.

  14. Stacey Amass Reply

    October 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I am searching for 8 vintage square concrete screen blocks in the fancy X style that you have on your website. I need 11-12 inch squares. Do you sell them or know where I could find them? I live in Los Angeles.
    Great website and hope you can help me

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      October 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Stacey, No, I do not personally sell concrete screen block. It seems like you should be able to find some concrete block dealers in your area though, as I know that is popular in LA too. One dealer that comes to mind is Superlite Block, they sell some decorative block – though I’m not sure if they have the exact design you are looking for. You can call you local dealer to find out.


      You can also just Google concrete block for Los Angeles and see what dealers come up in your search. I know different dealers sometimes carry different design styles so you should eventually be able to find the design you are looking for. Good Luck and let us know if your search is successful!

  15. Roseann Reply

    October 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Sara I bought a mid century in Palm Springs last year and have been searching for decorative block ever since. You would think in Palm Springs the screen block capital of the world there would be more companies making these gems. Sadly no, I have found 1 place near Palm Springs with a limited selection http://www.orco.com/pr_screen.htm and 1in Orlando that has a larger selection but no way is it cost efficient to purchase from them. http://www.a1block.com/screenwall.php

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      October 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Wow Roseann, that place in Orlando has some AMAZING patterns available!!! I hear you on the shipping problems though, it can get pretty expensive.

      Have you called literally all of the concrete wall block dealers in Palm Springs and the LA area asking about it? Sometimes I have noticed they call screen block other things like decorative block or something – so you may have to ask for “screen block” by different names. There was also a company around the Phoenix area that was willing to do custom designs for you – whatever you wanted as a screen block. The price would depend on the quantity ordered. Perhaps you could find someone willing to do that in the Palm Springs area…..or even LA?

      As a last resort you could go to uShip and see just how much it would be to have a pallet of the block shipped out to you from Orlando. Who knows maybe you could get a decent price, on uShip they bid to get your shipping busniess so it could work out in your favor.

  16. joe p. Reply

    January 15, 2013 at 12:37 am

    2 miles from my 1955 house in garden grove ca. is ORCO BLOCK co. in stanton ca. 11100 beach blvd stanton 714-527-2239 http://www.orco.com is the only co. i can find here that still makes some screen blocks. but only flower type ( LA COSTA & STARFIRE )couple others
    ( i will be useing these ) only because i can not find any goargeust ones like the X O Lightning bolt type you show on your site. if you know were i can get those carved type PLEASE let me know. you may want to look up a real estate agents site : VERY VINTAGE VAGAS .com his site you will like the pictures, he is an agent but loves the blocks like we do he says( if you dont have a screen wall its not a vagas home )thank you for your site. joe p.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      January 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Good luck with you decorative block project Joe. Send pictures to us if you can when you are done!

      No, I do not know of any block manufacturer that makes that fancy XO lightning bolt type block…I’ve only ever seen it on one building around here so it must not have been a super common block to produce and may have been more custom.

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