Saturday, December 31, 2005

EPA to hold 2-day meeting in January to discuss cleaning up historic Route 66 sites

The Environmental Protection Agency, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, City of Winslow, City of Holbrook, and Navajo County will hold a two-day meeting to explore the opportunities and barriers to redevelopment at underground storage tank sites and old service station sites along historic Route 66. The meeting will take place on January 26, 2006, in Winslow, AZ at the historic La Posada Hotel and on January 27, 2006, in Holbrook, AZ at the Open Class Building (Navajo County Fairgrounds).

The main objective of the meeting is to explore ways that various agencies and organizations can work with Winslow, Holbrook, and Navajo County to expedite cleanup and promote redevelopment at underground storage tank sites along Route 66. Representatives of agencies/organizations that offer various forms of technical and/or financial assistance that could be used for these projects are encouraged to attend. Property owners and community members will be eager to hear about these opportunities.

Agency/organization representatives are being asked to convey a survey of available resources and provide a brief (up to five minute) presentation about the assistance that their agency/organization offers. In addition, a breakout session is planned to allow community members, property owners, and agency/organization representatives to share ideas. Following this breakout session, a panel discussion and Q & A will be held to allow attendees to offer their views and ask questions.

Since its inception in June 2004, ADEQ's Route 66 Initiative has done an excellent job of identifying, assessing, and cleaning up sites along Route 66, but redevelopment remains slow and few leaking underground storage tank sites are approached with a possible reuse in mind. Your help is needed to identify barriers and opportunities for redevelopment so that surrounding communities may revitalize the Route 66 corridor and preserve the rich heritage that has become synonymous with this nationally treasured highway.

If you are interested in attending, RSVP by Friday, January 7 to Maggie Witt, U.S. EPA Route 66 Project Manager, at 415-972-3370. If you have any questions about the meeting or any of the enclosures, please do not hesitate to call Maggie.

Friday, December 30, 2005

New website helps visitors locate Arizona's heritage and cultural sites

Visit the Arizona Heritage Traveler website, delivering heritage and cultural experiences throughout the state. Arizona has hundreds of stories to tell and the Arizona Department of Tourism and Arizona Humanities Council invite you to experience them all. Explore ancient civilizations and contemporary cultures. Treat yourself to some of the best stargazing in the country. Re-live the Old West and walk in the footsteps of Spanish missionaries. Discover historic hotels, unique B&B's, authentic ranches, and many other landmarks.

National Civic Tourism conference to be held in Prescott in March 2006

The national Civic Tourism conference, to be held March 16-18, 2006, in Prescott, Arizona, has added more presenters. Visit their website for the latest conference agenda.

In addition, several additions to the website have been made. You can preview and order a copy of the 13-minute DVD, "Civic Tourism: The Poetry & Politics of Place." There's a new section for the press and bloggers. And the homepage now features a DAILY update, with links to relevant stories, websites, blogs, and best practices. Shortly, a "Conference Forum" for conference attendees will be added -- a blog to share ideas, concerns, and topics you'd like to see addressed at the March conference.

[For more information, contact Dan Shilling, PhD, Director, Civic Tourism Project, Sharlot Hall Museum, 602-300-6694. Photo source: Dan Shilling]

ASU students draft plan to revitalize Phoenix's Capitol Mall District

In November 2004, the then College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) was asked by the Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) to conduct a teaching exercise on the upgrade of the Arizona Capitol Mall District in Phoenix. Instructors and students in the CAED at Arizona State University (ASU) have conducted many site- and discipline-specific studio projects in the past. The novelty of this year’s project was that the architecture and planning studios would focus on the same area and were to be conducted simultaneously.

In the spring of 2005, 46 students (31 urban planning and 15 architecture seniors) assembled in a joint studio project to develop a revitalization plan for the Arizona Capitol Mall District, applying urban design concepts that would be unique to the area. This report is the result of a single semester’s worth of collaboration and serves two purposes: it acts as a supplement to the architecture studio’s final design program and as a resource for ideas and concepts toward furthering the renaissance of the Capitol Mall District.

[Note: For more information, contact Professor Carlos Balsas or Professor Claudio Vekstein. Photo source: Jim McPherson]

Fund-raising is top priority in 2006 for Mountain View Black Officers Club restoration

[Source: Tom Stoney, Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers] -- The year 2005 has been a very good one for the restoration of the Mountain View Black Officers Club at Ft. Huachuca in Sierra Vista. A lot of hard work was done this year and the project is moving forward. 2005 accomplishments include:
  • All rubble, debris and trash removed from building 66050.
  • Articles by the Associated Press on the project appeared in USA Today and numerous newspapers around the country. Our project was also featured in Parade Magazine.
  • Numerous oral presentations on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and the history of our group were presented to organizations and groups throughout the state.
  • Month long spot announcements on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and the project were aired on 3 local radio stations.
  • The environmental assessment on building 66050 was completed, as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Pat O'Brien, National Park Service based at UA, is working hard to get additional help from other UA departments such as Architect and Marketing to assist. Dr. O'Brien is committed to the project and is doing a super job.
  • Barbara Becker, Ph.D., Professor of Geography and Planning, UA, and several of her students are working to develop a General Management Plan (GMP) for the project. The GMP will include a marketing, fundraising, and operations plan. Expected completion date: end of Spring semester.
  • We marketed our project at the Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.
  • Attended monthly meetings hosted by the Sierra Vista Visitors and Convention Bureau/Community Heritage Partnership.
  • 2005 Gala Dinner/Silent Auction was a huge success. Thanks to Gala Chair Harlan Bradford and committee members Joan Way, Dave Perryman, B.J. Lucas, Tina Simpson, Charles Fortenberry, Bessie Bradford, Barbara McCraw, Berthe Simpson, and Franks Bothwell.
The process to lease 66050 to our group by the Army Corps of Engineers (Los Angeles District) has begun -- a major accomplishment. This means that the building has been saved and will not be demolished unless we fail to raise the necessary capital to rehabilitate it.

We have come a long way in about two years in working to save 66050. Our goal remains to cause the building to become a Museum and Historical Research Center on Black Men and Women Military History, 1866-1951 (Korean War). 66050 has a story to tell. It must serve as a living testament to those Black Men and Women who suffered the indignities of prejudice, discrimination, racism, and segregation, yet served their country well and with honor.

Our biggest challenge is raising the $2 million or more dollars that it will take to bring 66050 back to life. Now that the process to lease 66050 is underway, our focus in 2006 must and will be fund-raising. [Photo source: Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers.]

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Rehab of Florence's Silver King Hotel to resume

[Source: Florence Reminder staff reports] -- Members of the Florence Preservation Foundation, owners of the Silver King Hotel, are hopeful that the building's second phase of restoration can begin in the spring. This phase will include something the building has never had before - an elevator - and other things it hasn't had for many years, such as restrooms and second-floor balconies.

This work will be done with a federal T-21 grant of $500,000 through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The FPF used its first such grant to stabilize the building and put on a roof, windows and doors several years ago. The work covered by the second grant has been slow to begin, but FPF members believe it is close, according to Bonnie Bariola, secretary and grants manager. She said the State Historic Preservation Office had concerns about the first set of construction documents for phase two. But the FPF's architect has made corrections, and the FPF is now waiting for ADOT to send it a letter to proceed. The FPF hopes to receive the letter in early January, then go out for bids.

The balconies will help return the building to the way it looked in its heyday aroud the dawn of the 20th century. The restrooms will be in a new separate stuccoed building - but no ordinary outhouse, if Bariola has anything to say about it. "I want them to be attractive on the inside," she said. The restored building won't be an actual hotel again, at least not for a few years. The federal transportation funding being used to restore it carries a requirement that it be open to the public for at least five years. A lobby separates two sides of the bottom floor. The south side, off Sixth Street, could be good for a coffee shop, Bariola said, while the north side could work well as a mini-mall, with space leased to different vendors. Public offices are possible on the second floor.

The Silver King qualified for federal highway funding because of its historical importance to travelers. The hotel was a stop for the Texas & California Stage Company, the Globe & Florence Stage Line, and the Arizona Consolidated Stage & Livery Company. It contained the office of R.T. Jones Auto Stage and later was a Greyhound bus stop. [Photo source: Metropolis Design Group]

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

National Trust's Western Office publishes December 2005 newsletter

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Western Office is pleased to share the December edition of its newsletter. Please forward this newsletter to others who also care about what is happening in historic places and communities throughout the West. If you missed some past issues, links to all the past editions are provided. Simply click here, scroll to the Western office section at the bottom of the page, and select an issue of the newsletter according to the date it was issued.

This newsletter can only be viewed by using the free Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader Software, which allows you to view, navigate, and print these files across all major computing platforms. Click here to download the free software needed to read the newsletter. If you experience difficulties reading the files, you may be using an older Acrobat Reader version. To view these documents, you must update your software.

Phoenix Council speeds up Asian American Historic Property Survey

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- On December 21, the Phoenix City Council approved issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Asian American Historic Property Survey (originally slated for 2007). The project will be funded with $40,000 in Historic Preservation Bond funds. The deadline for consultants to submit Statements of Qualification (SOQs) is February 24, 2006. For more information about the survey, contact the Historic Preservation Office, 17th Floor, Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St., or call 602-261-8699.

[Photo caption: Jack Hom owned and operated the American Kitchen Restaurant at N. Central Ave. from 1947 to 1959. Photo source: Phoenix Chinese Week Committee.]

Monday, December 26, 2005

Celebrate Ironwood Forest National Monument with Arizona Members of Congress on January 7

Come celebrate Ironwood Forest National Monument, Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and the wonderful 26 million acre National Landscape Conservation System. With Congressional staff visiting southern Arizona for the weekend to learn about the Conservation System, this will be an informal opportunity to meet and share perspectives with our guests.

We will thank several members of Arizona's Congressional delegation for their leadership on the National Landscape Conservation System, and present them with photographs from the NLCS 5th Anniversary photo contest. Winning photos from the contest will also be on display.
  • Saturday, January 7, 2006, 6-8 p.m.
  • Palm Room, Westward Look Resort, 245 E Ina Rd., Tucson
  • Drinks and hors d’oeuvres
  • Semi-casual attire
  • RSVP to John Garder, (202) 429-2641

Phoenix Council decides on Chinatown Building, Asian American Museum

[Source: Barry Wong, Save SunMerc Coalition] -- Phoenix City Council at its December 14, 2005 hearing sided primarily with the real estate developer and ignored most of the pleas of the Chinese- and Asian-American and historic preservation communities to preserve the historic 1920s Chinatown Sun Mercantile Building and set aside 4,500 square feet of space for a history museum.

The council allowed the developer to build 11-stories of condominiums through and above the Sun Merc. In addition, in hopes of pleasing the Chinese- and Asian-American communities, it required the developer to set aside 1,000 square feet of space inside the Sun Merc and 1,000 square feet of space outside the Sun Merc for exhibits and displays for museum use, and required the developer to donate $75,000 over two years to the newly created Arizona Asian American Museum Foundation.

Rally, Lion Dance
The day began with a rally outside next to the council chambers by supporters of saving the Sun Merc. Over 100 supporters attended the rally where a pair of traditional Chinese lion dancers performed to bring good luck to and drive away evil spirits from the city council hearing.

Supporters held up signs in English, Chinese, and other Asian languages to save the Sun Merc and for an Asian museum. They were heard chanting “save Sun Merc, save Sun Merc, save Sun Merc.” It was quite a scene, with television, radio and newspaper reporters present to record the moment. Barry Wong, Chairman of the Save SunMerc Coalition, gave remarks energizing supporters in advance of the council’s hearing.

Council Hearing: Community Leaders Speak
The City Council started its hearing at 5 p.m. to address the Sun Merc matter. By way of background, the luxury hotel and condominium developer had appealed the prior decision of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission that favored the historic preservation and Asian American communities. The Commission required the developer to remove from its plans the 11-stories above the Sun Merc and that at least 4,500 square feet of space be reserved for use by the Asian American community for history museum use.

Nearly 200 supporters of saving the Sun Merc and setting aside space for an Asian American museum attended the hearing, mostly Chinese- and Asian-Americans. Also, 30-some members of the Chinese Senior Citizens Association, led by its president, Mr. Wen, made a special trip to attend the hearing. This issue, for the first time, galvanized the Chinese- and Asian-American communities to attend and protest their city government elected leaders to take action in support of their community.

After city staff and the developer’s representatives spoke, Barry Wong was called up by the mayor to testify and make an opening statement on behalf of the Save SunMerc Coalition, followed by Jim McPherson, President of the Arizona Preservation Foundation.

The public was later given the opportunity to comment as well. Many Chinese- and Asian-American community leaders stepped forward to speak, including Dr. Pearl Tang, wife of the late Hon. Thomas Tang, former Phoenix Vice Mayor and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Ninth Circuit; Eddie Yue, President, Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix; Eva Li, president, OCA/Phoenix Chapter; Arif Kazmi, President, Arizona Asian American Association; Annie White, Overseas Chinese Woman’s Club; John Tang, past president, Chinese United Association; Doris Ong, member, Board of Trustees, Phoenix Art Museum; and Virginia Chang, President, Desert Jade Woman’s Club.

Decision; Future Action
After nearly three hours of testimony, the city council discussed the issue and rendered its decision. After the decision was announced, the developer still would not commit to the 1,000 square feet designated for inside the Sun Merc and wanted the council to place more restrictions on how the Arizona Asian American Museum Foundation could use the developer-required donation of money. Supporters of Sun Merc in the audience were disappointed with the council’s decision, then booed and groaned upon hearing the offensive, non-committal statement from the developer.

The Save SunMerc Coalition will meet with their legal advisors to decide whether to appeal the council’s decision to court.

Save SunMerc Coalition was formed and has been working daily since early October 2005, in conjunction with the Arizona Preservation Foundation and other historic preservation groups, to preserve Sun Merc and secure space for a museum. Core members of the Coalition are Barry Wong, Eddie Yue, John Tang, Dr. Pearl Tang, Arif Kazmi, Doris Ong, Lani Wo, past president, Chinese United Association, Arnold Wo and Chantri Sukpon Beck, President, Thai-American Friendship Organization. [Photo source: Ed Sharpe.]

Friday, December 23, 2005

ASU project plucks old trees from lawn

[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic] -- When Arizona State University students return to campus after winter break, they'll notice a shade shortage. Nearly 20 trees have been removed from Old Main lawn as part of a restoration project, and everyone isn't excited about the change. The project aims to make Old Main lawn the "gateway to the university" by enhancing its aesthetic beauty, ASU President Michael Crow said.

"We hope to enable current and future visitors to the campus to see Old Main as it was originally intended to be seen," Crow said Thursday. "It is important for the university to recognize and preserve its heritage, as well as to highlight the beauty of the environment in which it exists."

The lawn, like all ASU grounds, is part of the Arboretum at Arizona State University. And Mary Young, an arboretum volunteer, said that she fears some of the trees being removed are part of the original group planted by former ASU president Arthur John Matthews in the early 20th century. Young frequently gives historical tours of the arboretum and faculty and students often use the grounds for research. "To take out old trees in Arizona, you should have a good reason, and to be able to see Old Main is not a good reason," she said.

The restoration of Old Main lawn, which will be complete by spring graduation, has been in the works for several years, said Diane McCarthy, ASU Foundation senior vice president of community and university partnerships. "When I was president of the ASU Alumni Association, it always frustrated me that you can't see Old Main from University Drive, so we had a lot of discussions about it and had a donor who said they'd help us take it back to what it looked like in 1912," McCarthy said.

Terri Shafer, assistant vice president of public affairs, said the restoration project would benefit the university in the long run. The trees that are being discarded were diseased or dying, Shafer said, and poor maintenance had turned Old Main lawn into an eyesore that clashed with the recently renovated Old Main building, ASU's original building.

[Note: To read the full article,
click here. For more information about the project from ASU, click here. Photo source: Arizona State University.]

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Preservation Action's top federal legislative priorities for 2006

[Source: Heather MacIntosh, President, Preservation Action] -- You voted. We listened. Here are the results of Preservation Action's member poll, with the most popular legislation at the top. In many cases, people noted that all preservation legislation was important. We hoped the poll would serve a couple of purposes: to engage PA members in creating its legislative agenda for next year, and to get preservationists all thinking about the choices that PA staff have to make in DC. Note that just because an issue didn’t make it to the top of the list doesn’t mean PA won't be supporting it in 2006.
  • Support adequate funding for State Preservation Offices
  • Protect Section 106
  • Improve the Rehabilitation Tax Credit
  • Protect Preservation Easement Program
  • Support Hurricane Relief-related legislation targeted toward historic resources
  • Protect the Community Development Block Grant
  • Protect Save America’s Treasures Funding
  • Facilitate better integration of LEED standards and historic rehabilitation standards/credits
  • Support funding for Preserve America
  • Facilitate federal support for a national survey project
  • Support adequate funding for Tribal Preservation Offices
  • Support funding for National Heritage Areas
  • Support funding and incentives to support the adaptive reuse of historic industrial sites (brownfields)
  • Support funding for the rehabilitation of historic barns
#1 write-in issue: Historic Homeowners Assistance Act (a federal tax credit for property owners who have rehabilitated their historic home).

Ten things you can do in 2006 to support historic preservation at the federal level

[Source: Heather MacIntosh, President, Preservation Action] -- If you are interested in helping strengthen historic preservation at the federal level, consider these top ten ideas:
  1. Get people in Arizona to join Preservation Action.
  2. Make an appointment with your Representative and Senators at the closest district office. Bone up on the issues by visiting Preservation Action’s website.
  3. Get to know your state historic preservation officer. State preservation officers have tons of helpful information, especially if you’re planning a trip to see your legislators.
  4. Come to Washington, DC! Lobby Day is March 14th this year, and is a great opportunity to learn more about the policies alongside fellow preservationists.
  5. Accumulate examples of projects, past, present, and potential that could be supported by federal tax credits, federal programs, or federal regulations. For example, how was a fabulous, award-winning project in your community funded? Any federal tax credits or other federal funding involved? Share this information with Preservation Action.
  6. Look out for opportunities for Preservation Action to speak during your state preservation conference, and work with us on what federal issues people in your state would be most interested in hearing about.
  7. Get to know your legislators. Your relationship with officials representing your state or district can make a huge difference when push comes to shove in Congress. You don’t need an “alert” to make the first move. Invite your legislators to an building opening, an organizational party, or any event that will help showcase the relationship between federal support for preservation and local projects.
  8. Read. Read our weekly updates, but also pay attention to what you read in the press about what’s happening in Congress. We at PA read a lot -- Hill reports, email from Hill staffers, committee reports, testimony, newsletters, you name it -- but we can’t read your local newspaper, which might include something that could help us be smarter, better advocates.
  9. Support preservation advocacy at the local level. All advocacy is interrelated. An active base of local citizens concerned about threats to the local community are often the best spokespeople for federal policy because they can very easily draw connections between local funding needs, practices, and regulations and federal funding opportunities, criteria, and regulations. The trick is to help local advocates make the connection – we can help, just ask us.
  10. Be passionate. Effective advocacy requires passion checked by good information and strong support from your community (that includes preservationists everywhere). Legislators will forgive little mistakes in your delivery if you demonstrate a commitment to your community -- through your support for protecting and reusing the best of it’s past. You should never be intimidated by federal policy, politics, Congress, or the idea of lobbying.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More plans for Casa Grande's Paramount Theatre

[Source: Jill Zarend-Kubatko, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- The 75-year-old Paramount Theatre has been awakened once again. Nudging the entertainment house into the new year with imaginative ideas are its owner Debbie Barber and Amy Berglund of Old Town Coffee Company... Berglund and Barber hope to have a full run theater sometime in February. "This is a kickoff for further things to come and a year from now we should have a full season theater. It currently is available for renting," Berglund said...

Built in 1929 by the same theater chain that built the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix, Casa Grande's Paramount Theatre was the first talking picture show in Pinal County... The theater became the town's leading entertainment center for more than 60 years. Long Theater Enterprises, which had purchased the theater in 1942, filed for bankruptcy in 1989. The theater reopened but closed again in 1992. The facade had been altered so much, the theater was rejected by the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Through the various changes in ownership, its beauty was lost in the form of layers of "renovations."

Barber purchased the 650-seat theater for $32,000 at a county tax sale to have a place for her daughter's ballet class and other youth activities. There was no place in Casa Grande for them, she said at the time, and she wanted to create one. In 1998, with help from a state Heritage Fund grant, Barber had the 1970s facade removed and the outside restored to its original Spanish Colonial Revival style. The ticket booth was reconstructed in its original location. The restrooms were moved; the store windows rebuilt. The theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. When the acoustic tiles came off inside the theater, Egyptian-motif stencils in three of the alcoves were found undamaged. Art students from Central Arizona College painted the other alcoves to match.

The original lapis-blue ceiling color was uncovered and repainted. The large plaster of Paris peacock-feather grill was painted gold. The walls and niches were painted their original beige and gold. The balcony was enlarged. The floor was leveled and covered in copper-red carpeting. Egyptian-style columns were added to both sides of the stage.

A replica of the original marquee was purchased for $36,200 in a downtown revitalization project sponsored by Casa Grande Main Street with assistance from Arizona Main Street, the city of Casa Grande and the Casa Grande Arts and Humanities Commission, which awarded Local Transportation Assistance funds for the project. Barber, who has been restoring the theater for more than a decade, and her daughter Crystal Thies accepted the Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award for outstanding achievement in preserving Arizona's historic resources June 10 at the annual Historic Preservation Conference in Tucson.

"The rehabilitation and reopening of the Paramount is vital to the energy that is being created in the historic downtown district," Main Street Executive Director Marge Jantz said in a June article about the reopening. Main Street now uses the marquee in promotions as an example of the progress and revitalization of "old" Casa Grande. "This is just the love of my life," Barber said at the time of her 2004 reopening. "It'll probably never be done. My dream came true, what I originally purchased it for." [Photo source: Debra Jane Seltzer.]

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tucson building may be torn down following finding it's not historic

[Source: Associated Press] -- A building that some people thought might be slated for preservation may be torn down after all. A city report has determined it wasn't historic, as some people had believed. The report by architect Bob Vint found that because of substantial renovations in the 1950s and 1960s, the 90-year-old former bank building had "lost the integrity of its historic design, setting, materials, workmanship, and feeling, and is therefore unable to convey its historic significance."

"It's not even a shadow of its former self," Vint said in an interview with the Arizona Daily Star. Marty McCune, the city's historic preservation officer, said she agreed with the report's assessment of the building, and said the Bank One annex can be demolished because it is not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Some considered the building's restoration a trade-off for the 115-year-old Pusch Building, which was torn down in 2004 to make way for a $23 million condo development by Bourn Partners and the Fina Companies. Downtown lawyer Roy Martin, who led the charge against demolishing the Pusch building, said he was told by city officials that the Bank One building was historic and worth saving, and there was no way it would be torn down. "It's outrageous," Martin said. "We were promised that under no circumstances would the Bank One annex not be preserved."

At the time, Assistant City Manager Karen Thoreson also said the city was working with developers to include the annex in a new condominium project because there was a spectacular historic structure under the facade put on the building in the 1950s. The Pusch building's demolition outraged those who felt it should have been saved and incorporated into the condo project.

The project's developers said in June 2004 that they would do everything they could to preserve it, but the building was reduced to rubble by that September. The bank annex was also included in Bourn's condo project when it was approved. Now it, too, will be torn down if the developers use the land in the condo project, said Paul Schloss, a principal with Bourn Partners. He said the company has not decided whether to use the property in the condo project. [Photo source: Bob Vint.]

Tempe set to clean up historic landmark

[Source: Associated Press] -- A $2.5 million project will begin next month to clean up Tempe's Hayden Flour Mill, a landmark that has reached a low point in its storied history. The building is scarred from a 2002 fire set by transients. Inside the mill, asbestos, fire debris and years of pigeon droppings cover the floors.

Since buying the mill from developers in 2003, Tempe has been looking to renew the property without destroying its history. The city will remove the asbestos and debris. Then, a massive archaeological exploration will begin into pioneer and Hohokam Indian settlements. The work should clear the way for the city to sell, transforming the property into a link between its downtown and growing developments near Town Lake. The city is reviewing several proposals from developers to restore the mill and add other projects to the site. [Photo source: City of Tempe.]

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wickenburg-Boetto pioneer property to be preserved

[Source: Vince Murray, Arizona Historical Research] -- The Wickenburg Historical Preservation Society was founded in 2000, the same year that the Town of Wickenburg purchased the property that contained the last home that Henry Wickenburg lived in prior to his death.

That home was built in 1903. Henry Wickenburg was found dead outside the home in 1905, from what was thought to be, a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Boetto family purchased the Wickenburg home in 1913 and owned it until 2000. The intention for the Preservation Society was to become instrumental in saving and refurbishing the Boetto property, which had been slated for demolition. The dream may become a reality. The town of Wickenburg has finally recognized the historical significance of the property and has imposed stringent CC&R’s upon the property, so that a preservation group can purchase it at auction. The property has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. The completion for acceptance should be in early summer.

Bill Otwell and Associates, Architects, are monitoring the renovation of the project. While partial funding has been applied for, the estimate for the entire project is $254,443.

[For more information, contact: Cindy Thrasher, President, Wickenburg Historical Society, P.O. Box 771, Wickenburg, AZ 85358, 928-684-5129. Photo source: Vince Murray]

Citizens help craft Glendale's appeal

[Source: Maura J. Halpern, Arizona Republic] -- Fifteen years ago, John Edmonson would never have pegged Glendale as a premier Valley destination. But in the early 1990s, the longtime Glendale resident said, the city began to emerge from the shadow of Phoenix and Scottsdale as residents and officials created reasons for people to visit what is now the state's fourth-largest city.

"The whole attitude about the West Valley has changed," said Edmonson, who added that downtown Glendale's face lift in the 1990s and the development of the Arrowhead area as a major commercial and residential anchor helped spark the city's appeal. "I'm proud to live in a city that has become a place everyone wants to be a part of," Edmondson said.

A 2003 study by the International Festivals and Event Association estimated that Glendale's downtown festivals produced a more than $23 million economic impact. For every $1 budgeted for festivals like Fiesta Glendale, Glendale Glitters and the Glendale Jazz & Blues Festival, the study estimated $38.50 generated for the city. And this impact continues to grow, especially in 2005.

With the newly renovated Murphy Park as its backdrop, the city kicked off a new downtown event in October to attract visitors to its core in the evenings. That Thursday Thing! runs through May and provides entertainment, discounts and extended shopping hours. The fall also brought the Catlin Court Historic District Association's first home tour, which brought more than 1,000 visitors inside the quaint bungalows of the city's earliest plotted neighborhood. The tour raised $10,000 to help preserve the structures and to benefit the Glendale Historical Society.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Glendale Office of Tourism & Visitor Center.]

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Magazine seeks cottagey homes & neighborhoods

Cottage Living Magazine is always looking for neighborhoods and homes that offer picturesque architecture (cute and cottagey); walkable streets (and parks); cottagey scale (smallish, affordable, no mansions or tear-down zones); a diverse group of trustworthy, caring neighbors; a cohesive sense of community (social gatherings, helping hands when you need them); and cool shops and hangouts (locally owned, not chain stores).

If that describes your home and neighborhood, contact Logan Ward, 200 North Market St., Staunton, VA 24401, 540-886-4689.