It all began on a 10-acre lot in Sedona. The year was 1948 and Donald “Don” Nanke and his relatives Carroll and Howard Madole were following through on a vision to design and build their first group of homes.
Back then, Sedona was sparse — the perfect canvas to begin a legacy.
A Nanke designed and built home stands out; it’s why many are proud to own one. There are subtle architectural details, custom fixtures that elevate, and impressive features that are challenging for most construction teams, like structural components assembled on a radius or curve.
Many designers can draw out their ideas, but it’s rare to find a team that can also meet that vision with the realities of gravity, materials, and space. This is where Nanke Signature Group thrives.
Howard Madole, Sedona’s first architect and Nanke Signature Group’s former senior architect, established this design philosophy at Nanke.
A skilled carpenter and construction laborer who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright during the early years of Taliesin West, Howard adopted certain design elements from Wright but infused his architectural approach with his construction foundation, allowing him to successfully improvise on projects.
As he told Alison King of the Modern Phoenix blog: “A lot of what makes for interesting architecture is improvisation.”
In 1954, Nanke Signature Group co-founder Don Nanke moved his family to Prescott and later partnered with brother-in-law Howard Madole after his residency at Taliesin West. The two began designing and building homes throughout Prescott, developing a reputation for building to a higher standard.
Don, a master stonemason with a keen eye for detail, would popularize Nanke’s stonemasonry exterior finish and institute the design-build process that defines Nanke.
Don’s son, John, would later transform Nanke Signature Group into a highly sought-after partner in any design or construction project. As he expanded on the knowledge and standards set by his father and uncle, John’s acute sense of seeing livable spaces as three-dimensional objects strengthened his team’s ability to work out construction solutions as professionals in the field and as designers.
Along with John’s son CEO Jared Nanke, the 73-year-old company has entered into a new era of construction and design possibilities.
Jared, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and former Planning Commissioner for the City of Prescott (2017-2019), has used his background in design and business to bring the company into such other markets as commercial architecture and construction.
He has grown Nanke’s design division, bringing on licensed architect Lucas Nieri and other architectural associates to create a line of semi-custom homes that honor the Nanke legacy.
“I want to leave our communities with a clear vision for healthier living and long-term solutions,” Jared says. “Fashion possesses a unique quality that demands innovation, no matter the times, culling together traditional components while remaining aware of the future.”
Nanke Signature Group’s Preserve Residence project was a finalist for Best Custom Home in the 2022 MAME Awards hosted by the Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona.