Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Phoenix's Oakland Historic District boundaries to be expanded

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] -- On February 22, Historic Preservation (HP) staff gave a presentation to owners of properties in and around the Oakland Historic District regarding possible historic district expansion. Staff provided an update on the historic property survey that had been completed for the area between 7th and 19th Avenues and Roosevelt and Van Buren Streets. Based on the findings of the survey, staff recommended that the Oakland Historic District undergo a modest expansion to include 43 additional properties. Staff noted that there were several properties in the survey area that were individually eligible and that there was possibly an eligible historic district along Grand Avenue. Approximately 15 people attended the meeting; some in attendance expressed disappointment that a larger area was not eligible for historic designation. Two members of the HP Commission also attended.

On February 27, the HP Commission voted to initiate the boundary expansion for Oakland as recommended by HP staff. The HP Commission also asked staff to revisit two areas around Oakland to see if there was a way that the significance or integrity of those areas could be re-evaluated, and to work with property owners to see if they would support historic designation. Earlier in February, HP staff toured the neighborhood with Jim Garrison, State Historic Preservation Officer, and met with Capitol Mall Association representatives to discuss how the City and HP Office can better support the Oakland Historic District and its highest neighborhood revitalization priorities.

ASU may demolish Tempe's 1962 Valley National Bank

[Source: Vince Murray, Arizona Historical Research] -- Although this building is not fifty years old, the 1962 Valley National Bank is a unique piece of architecture in Tempe. The geodesic dome roof was a type of structural system advocated by architect, theoretician, and futurist, Buckminster Fuller. This building has a prominent location on the corner of Rural and Apache and may be an individually eligible property in the year 2012.

The building does not show up on the comprehensive development plan for ASU's Tempe campus. It's the opinion of the City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office and Arizona Preservation Foundation that the building should be reevaluated at that time for status of integrity.

Historic preservation zoning sought for Phoenix's 1920 Temple Beth Israel

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] -- The City of Phoenix Historic Preservation (HP) Commission held a public hearing to consider HP zoning for the property located at the northwest corner of 2nd and Culver Streets. This property was built in 1921 as Temple Beth Israel, the first Jewish temple in Phoenix; in 1950 it became the First Chinese Baptist Church. The historic designation was requested by the property owner, the Arizona Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). The HP Commission unanimously recommended approval of the HP zoning application. [Photo source: AJHS.]

Monday, February 27, 2006

Paradise Valley seeks balance of rights, history

[Source: Diana Balazs, Arizona Republic] -- While the number of new homes in the Valley continues to rise, there are plenty of communities whose housing stock is aging. Statewide, 26 cities and towns have formalized historic preservation programs, and just five of those are in the Valley: Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Phoenix and Scottsdale have designated historic neighborhoods. But as bulldozers razed a record number of homes in Paradise Valley, the town is confronting a struggle that communities face Valley-wide: balancing preservation with property rights.

Paradise Valley residents are debating whether to create a formal preservation program. The median home price in the town is $1.32 million and of the 5,034 homes, nearly 8 percent, 389, have been demolished since 1999. Every year, the number of homes razed for redevelopment rises. In 2005, 79 single-family homes were demolished, compared with 68 in 2004.

Paradise Valley officials are encouraging residents to remodel their homes and are looking at ways to make that easier. Councilwoman Virginia "Jini" Simpson, 61, said the town doesn't have the staff or resources to establish a formal historic preservation program. She said likeminded residents can form homeowners associations and establish deed restrictions on their properties. While residents complain about new homes changing the look and feel of their neighborhoods, none has sought historic protection of their own properties, she said. The reason? The land in Paradise Valley is worth more than the house that sits on it, with acre lots averaging between $1 million and $1.5 million.

For many longtime residents, their property is their retirement nest egg and placing restrictions on redevelopment would sharply devalue their land, Simpson said. "To many people that's become a more valuable asset than anything else they own," she said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Home tours can give you great ideas

[Source: Elena Acoba, Arizona Daily Star] -- At a home tour, Helen Jones spied an Oriental rug runner in a laundry room. "I would have never thought to do that," recalls Jones, a longtime organizer of the Arizona Opera League Home Tour and a frequent home tourist. "I took my runner out of the hallway and put it in the laundry room," she continues. "It was amazing. Suddenly my laundry room had class."

From little touches to major projects, home and garden tours provide tons of decorating and design ideas — if one knows how to look for them. "Look at the color that's involved in the room," advises interior designer Diana Patterson, owner of Patterson House (pictured above). "Observe how those colors work together." She also suggests studying fabric and upholstery textures, flooring, lighting and rugs. "The point being, if a room really appeals to you, look at what it is that appeals to you," says Patterson, whose designs have been featured on tours organized by the Arizona South Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.

The idea applies with landscaping, too. "Look at the layout of the garden," advises landscape designer Penny Batelli, owner of Blooming Earth (325-7605), who has two stops on this year's Tucson Botanical Gardens Home Garden Tour. For instance, study how a narrow back yard is designed if you have the same challenge.

Homeowner Bob Morrison, who's shown his West University properties in home tours, recalls that tourists were often interested in how he and wife Cathy blended modern amenities with the historic design of their 1902 home. In the kitchen, for instance, "we have all the latest stuff," says Morrison. "It's clearly very up to date, but it works harmoniously with the spirit of the house."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Bob Morrison.]

Parts of golden sunshade from Tucson General Hospital will grace education building

[Source: Tom Beal, Arizona Daily Star] -- In a year when we celebrated the reopening of the gorgeous, 75-year-old Art Deco Fox Theatre in Tucson, we should probably be satisfied with saving pieces of a 40-year-old hospital whose modern architecture struck many as bland, if not downright ugly. Sun Belt progress has laid waste to century-old neighborhoods in the Old Pueblo. Tucson General Hospital, which stood for only 40 years on North Campbell Avenue, didn't stand a chance. Parts of the golden sunshade from the south face of the hospital (pictured above), though, were salvaged and will be affixed to a new education building at Reid Park Zoo -— a partial victory for preservationists who wanted to save the entire building. The shade will join a short list of architectural artifacts, including the dome from the El Conquistador Hotel and the archway and rose window from the original San Agustín Cathedral, that found homes in prominent places.

Tucson General, 3838 N. Campbell Ave., was designed by noted Tucson architect Arthur Brown. One of a handful of significant "modernist" buildings in Tucson, it was reduced to a steel skeleton to make room for an outpatient clinic for the Arizona Cancer Center. What made it extra-special, according to architect Anne M. Nequette, was its gold-colored aluminum shade structure, one of the first uses of passive solar design on a large commercial building in Tucson.

Modernist buildings, often steel-framed rectangles curtained with glass, have become the misunderstood ugly stepchildren of architecture. It's easy to love the tile dome and Spanish Revival look of architect Roy Place's Old Pima County Courthouse. It's tougher to appreciate the Transamerica Building across the street at 177 N. Church Ave., a high-rise rectangle with a curtain wall of glass and white- and gold-colored aluminum. The building, designed by Thomas E. Stanley, is Tucson's prime example of the international form of modernism, according to Nequette and R. Brooks Jeffery, who co-wrote "A Guide to Tucson Architecture."

It hangs a glass curtain from a steel frame, takes no bows to the place in which it stands and is not adapted to Tucson's climate. "The trouble with these middle-aged buildings is they're not old enough to be revered as historical structures and not new enough to be fresh and bold," said Bob Vint, who helped lead the fight to save Catalina High School and is gearing up to keep the Wilmot Library from being demolished. Those modern buildings, designed by the late Nicholas Sakellar, do take into account the geography and climate.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: University Medical Center.]

Friday, February 24, 2006

Provisions to Arizona HCR2031 & SCR1019 threaten historic property owners

SCR1019 was voted out of Senate Rules on February 22 with a Proper for Consideration Amended (PFCA) recommendation. It was also discussed and voted out of majority and minority caucus. In the Republican caucus, there was much discussion. Sen. John Huppenthal stated his concern with the bill's zoning implications. It was also mentioned that leadership would meet with representatives from local governments. HCR2031 was on the House Rules agenda on February 21, but not heard. At this time, next week’s agenda has not been posted.

Interested citizens are encouraged to learn more about the issue and contact their legislators. Details below:

Background: House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 2031 and Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1019, in their current form, propose a ballot measure that would require governments to compensate property owners for every zoning or land use decision they make. If adopted, this measure would have an inestimable negative financial impact, draining funds from vital public services. It would also freeze current zoning, preventing government from responding to future community concerns. The measure even provides a right to compensation when the zoning authority takes no action, if the owner can show that inaction reduces the value of his or her property.
Examples of actions that could trigger lawsuits and payment from government:
  • Approval or disapproval of historic overlay zoning
  • Enforcement or enactment of neighborhood preservation codes
  • Change from commercial, residential, or industrial use, or changes in density
  • Approval or disapproval of building height limits
  • Approval or disapproval of neighborhood-developed special planning districts
  • Approval or disapproval of restrictions associated with buffers for military installations and airports
  • Approval or disapproval of liquor licenses
  • Regulation of business hours or building design standards
  • Virtually any other land use regulation
While the great majority of historic homeowners recognize that historic preservation overlay zoning improves property values, this legislation opens the door for anyone with the perception that it does not to file a claim for compensation with their local government. Local historic preservation programs would be dramatically impacted, making it difficult to enforce current historic preservation ordinances for the betterment of our communities.

Background: A version of this bill has been around for several years, but has never received support. This year, however, it's being tied with eminent domain reform that would eliminate eminent domain usage in redevelopment areas.

What you can do

  • Review the summary of HCR2031 or full text of HCR2031.
  • Find your legislator and contact him or her that provision 12-1136 (which was added to HCR2031) is bad public policy. Zoning protects property values. If cities or other governments are discouraged from making land use decisions for fear of creating a right of compensation, businesses and neighborhoods will suffer –- and under this measure, that alone will create a right of compensation. HCR2031/SCR1019, as currently crafted, will cost taxpayers millions, encourage speculative land deals and frivolous litigation, and employ legions of lawyers. There is no good reason to do this.
For more information

  • Alan Stephenson, Arizona Planning Association, 602-262-6940
  • Sandy Bahr, Sierra Club Conservation Outreach, 602-253-8633
  • Paul Barnes, Greater Phoenix Neighborhoods Coalition, 602-840-1579
  • Karen Peters, City of Phoenix Intergovernmental Programs, 602-256-4257

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Phoenix's Santa Rita Center gets a place in history

[Source: Dianna M. Náñez, Arizona Republic] -- Time and neglect had taken its toll on the south Phoenix Santa Rita Center, a place filled with unparalleled historical significance to Hispanics. Heaps of old furniture and trash flanked the building. The center, at 10th Street and Hadley, where the late civil rights leader Cesar Chavez staged a 24-day fast, was deteriorating quickly. Without public intervention the Santa Rita Center was on a sure road to becoming another of Arizona's demolished historical treasures. The city wants to make sure that doesn't happen to similar structures.

In November, Phoenix began identifying properties with historical significance to Hispanics. It will take at least six months to survey everything from homes, churches, parks and businesses. The goal is to nominate eligible properties for city, state, and/or national recognition. The Santa Rita Center and Sacred Heart Church are among potential historical structures. "Places like the Santa Rita Center are long since due their place in history," community activist Rosie Lopez said. "Families and future leaders stood by Cesar's side during his fast at Santa Rita. This is the place where Arizona's Chicano movement started."

In 1972, on loan from the Catholic Church, Santa Rita became a temporary shelter for Chavez and his supporters during his "fast for love." Hundreds of local and national leaders joined Chavez to bring attention to the plight of Arizona farm workers after then-Gov. Jack Williams signed a bill outlawing boycotts and strikes during harvest time, making it virtually impossible for workers to organize a union. Thirty-one years later, it would be hard for anyone looking at the crumbling exterior of Santa Rita Center to believe it was once a place of pride and triumph.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Still time for "early bird" registration for National Civic Tourism Conference, March 16-18, in Prescott

The March 2006 National Civic Tourism Conference in Prescott will bring together some of the nation's researchers and practitioners who endorse a place-based approach to tourism and economic development. The conference already includes registrants from across the country, as well as some international participants. Presenters will discuss Sense of Place, Tourism Management, Tourism Trends, and Public Voice. For more information and to register, click here.

Rooms in Prescott are getting tight. Still, you should be able to find a nearby hotel or B&B at this website. If you're driving, that makes it easier, as there are several motels within a mile or so of the Hassayampa Inn and Elks Opera House, where the conference takes place. As of February 20, there are only 28 spaces left and 9 days remaining to take advantage of the $200 Early Bird Registration. The last few days, it's been an average of five registrations a day (almost all of them out of state), so Arizona colleagues shouldn't wait until the last minute. If you've already sent in your registration form, thank you. If you thought you registered because you said you were coming, well, you're not on the list.

Organizers look forward to a great meeting! Nearly 40 states are attending, as are Canada and Mexico. And don't forget - it's St Patty's Day on March 17 (and, yes, there will be partying at the Hassayampa).

If you have any questions, contact Dan Shilling, Director, Civic Tourism Project, by e-mail or phone: 602-300-6694.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Mother, daughter renovate 1916 Mesa Craftsman bungalow

[Source: Jessica Wanke, Arizona Republic] -- When Coffee Talk, a quirky, antique-filled coffee shop in downtown Mesa, went up for sale last year, the shop's legion of loyal fans feared it might mean the demise of their favorite haunt. Luckily for them, the shop was purchased by mother-daughter team Betty Freeman, 58, and Carrie Hensley, 34, who have not only kept the business going but have a slate of improvements and additions in the works. Included in their plans are a move to more organic and natural foods, the restoration of the building to its original arts and crafts motif (it was built in 1916) and the addition of a yoga studio out back.

The name of the business will eventually be changed to Inside the Bungalow to shift the emphasis away from coffee and onto the overall atmosphere. The pair, who moved to the Valley with their families five years ago from the Midwest, work most days together behind the counter at Coffee Talk, chatting up customers and creating concoctions in the kitchen. "What first drew us to this place is there is nothing like it in all of Mesa for sure and possibly the East Valley," said Hensley, a former yoga studio manager.

The building's current incarnation is only the latest of several over its lifetime. Today it looks like the home of an eccentric grandmother, standing in stark contrast to the simple modern architecture surrounding it downtown. It's exterior is yellow clapboard with green trim. The brick chimney is twisted into the shape of a spiral staircase, and the black and white checkered patio in the front garden has an offbeat Alice in Wonderland feel. It was originally built to be a home for prominent Mesa physician Eli Openshaw, according to the Mesa Town Center Development and Historic Preservation Division. Its bungalow design reflects the arts and crafts movement taking place at the time.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Tom Tingle, Arizona Republic.]

Friday, February 17, 2006

Website highlights work of Harold Ekman and other Phoenix architects

Although Phoenix and Arizona are relatively young, they have an eventful past. The website, "Homes With A History," was created by John Jacquemart, in honor of his long-time friend, architect Harold Ekman, to showcase the variety of building styles in Arizona's capital city. With his website, John hopes to:
  • Be a resource for people interested in researching the architectural, historic, and social character of their properties;
  • Serve as an accessible place to collect and disseminate information; and
  • Promote historic preservation in Phoenix.
Pictured above is the office that Ekman designed for himself, a doctor, and a dentist at 113 E. Camelback Rd. Constructed at a cost of $25,000, the building is now threatened with demolition.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

June 2, 2006 is deadline for Save Our History grant applications

The History Channel created the Save Our History program to support local history education and historic preservation in communities across the country. In 2004 the Save Our History Grant Program was launched to provide funding for projects that unite educators and local history organizations, teach students about their local history, and engage them in its preservation. Over the past two years, The History Channel has awarded $500,000 in Save Our History grants to 55 historical organizations, large and small, urban, suburban, and rural, in the north, south, east, west, and central United States.

The 2006-07 grant cycle is now open, and applications are now available online. Based on feedback from prior applicants, the third cycle of the Grant Program will feature a new calendar designed to give history organizations more time and flexibility to build partnerships with teachers or youth group leaders, complete applications, and plan and implement projects during an active part of the school year. The deadline for submitting an application for the 2006-2007 cycle is Friday, June 2, 2006. For updated guidelines and criteria, and to apply, click here.

It is hoped that Arizona organizations and schools will apply for a new round of funding from The History Channel. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, send an e-mail!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Official street signs debut over Scottsdale historic neighborhoods

[Source: Lois McFarland, Arizona Republic] -- A job description for mayor doesn't usually include kicking off your shoes and climbing up ladders to install street signs. Nevertheless, that's what Mayor Mary Manross (pictured left) did to help recognize the city's first two historic neighborhoods, Village Grove and Town & Country subdivisions, both built in the late 1950s. "This is a wonderful beginning to Scottsdale's neighborhood historic preservation," the mayor said after descending a ladder. "I look forward to putting up many more signs during the next few years."

The 255-home Village Grove 1-6 is on 72 acres north of McDowell Road, bounded by the Crosscut Canal at 66th Street on the west, 69th Street to the east, with Oak Street and Almeria Road marking the northern and southern boundaries, respectively. Many residents have lived in their homes 40 to 50 years and are pleased their California ranch-style houses have been singled out as historically significant. Homes that sold in 1957-58 for $12,750 to $13,500 now sell for $275,000 to $300,000.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. To read a related East Valley Tribune op-ed column on Scottsdale's designation, click here. Photo source: Jennifer Hibbard and Christine Kinchen.]

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Capitol a 'disaster' area

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] -- Arizona turns 94 years old today, and if you need proof, just look at the Capitol. The buildings are aging, the grass is dead, and some of the monuments are crumbling. While state officials celebrate Statehood Day, a growing number of civic and academic leaders are lamenting the condition of the Capitol and its surroundings. "A missed opportunity of cosmic proportions," one architect said. "Disaster," another said.

So what's the problem? Is it fountains with no water? The grim institutional buildings? The homeless people sleeping on the lawn? "I hardly know where to start," said Wellington Reiter, dean of Arizona State University's College of Design. "If you want the city (to) be believable as the fifth-largest city in the United States, you can't have a Capitol Mall that looks the way ours does." Reiter quickly added that the area around the Capitol is filled with promise. With dedicated effort, he said, Capitol Mall could become a thriving extension of downtown Phoenix.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. To view historic/vintage buildings in the Capitol Mall area, click here.]

Volunteers strive to protect Santan Mountains park and historic sites

[Source: Candace S. Hughes, Arizona Republic] -- Some local residents are keeping a close eye on San Tan Mountain Regional Park. Under the Arizona State Parks site steward program, about 760 volunteers have been trained to watch over the parks in 27 regions in Arizona. Denise Head, Georgia Peterson, and Alden and Caroline Rosbrook are four of the volunteers who have adopted the park in Pinal County just south of Queen Creek.

Two prehistoric sites and one historic site have been identified inside the park. Part of the volunteers' job is to keep visitors from destroying them any further. "Primarily the mission of the program is to monitor archaeological sites and report vandalism, and to reach out to the public to let others know the importance of leaving the archaeological record in place," said Mary Estes, resource protection specialist with the State Historic Preservation Office of Arizona State Parks. "Sites are special and often sacred places for Native Americans living today."

Volunteers who wish to attend the Phoenix metro area training for new site stewards should contact Mary Estes by e-mail or phone (602-542-7143) for more information and to apply. The training will cover laws protecting archaeological sites, how to monitor sites and report damage, as well as a half day learning from a professional archaeologist how to identify a site.

[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Monday, February 13, 2006

Arizona State Parks to distribute $1.7 million in Heritage Fund grants

[Source: Arizona Republic] -- The Arizona State Parks Board will be offering up to $1.7 million in competitive Historic Preservation Heritage Fund Grants for fiscal year 2006. The board has increased the awarded grant limit to $150,000 from $100,000 per application, and the Historic Preservation Grant Program has made some significant program changes.

All grant applicants are now required to attend one of the statewide historic preservation grant workshops. Applications for the grants are due by May 31 for the first cycle of grants and December 29 for the second cycle. Call 602-542-4174 or visit the Arizona State Parks website for 2006 workshop dates, locations, and other information.

In the first cycle of 2005, Arizona State Parks awarded 13 Arizona Historic Preservation grants totaling $662,000. There were many Historic Preservation award recipients last year with some examples being: Florence's Brunenkant Bakery, Gilbert's Water Tower Pumphouse/Jail, Douglas Grand Theatre, 1906 Gila County Courthouse, and the acquisition of Ajo's Curley School.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Phoenix couple save early 20th century home

Phoenix residents, Laurie and Tom Carmody, care about a vibrant and active downtown Phoenix. They've been involved in real estate for many years, most recently in Phoenix's Arts District along E. Roosevelt.

Another labor of love is preserving and moving 11 E. Ashland, an early 20th century home that had been slated for demolition (for a parking lot and possible future development). Financing the project themselves, Laurie (pictured above with movers) and Tom hope to begin the actual move the first week of March. To celebrate the event, the couple will hold one of their famous soirees and then later in the evening, when traffic is nill, the slow, arduous move will take place.

Renovation work on Phoenix's Monroe School begins

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] – According to Debbie Gilpin, executive director of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix at 215 N. 7th Street (formerly Family Museum), historic rehabilitation work funded by an Arizona Heritage Fund grant is currently underway. Museum staff and architects met with City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office representatives to discuss moving the rehabilitation work forward and revising the master plan to scale down the rear addition and remove ADA access from the building’s front. Seeking a potential phase II Arizona Heritage Fund grant for additional historic preservation projects was also discussed.

Friday, February 10, 2006

More Tempe homeowners razing house for new one

[Source: Betty Beard, Arizona Republic] -- Pam Thelander jokes that she threw her Tempe house in the garbage. It's basically true. Thelander is one of a growing number of residents in and around Tempe who are demolishing older homes and rebuilding on the same lots. Her 40-year-old house was smashed and hauled away. The trend is catching on in Tempe because houses and land have become much more valuable and because Tempe has large older lots with mature trees and a location close to the heart of the Phoenix area.

Pam and her husband, Todd, who farms near Maricopa, learned it would cost $70,000 to $80,000 to bring their 2,400-square-foot home up to date. They paid $18,000 for demolition and plan to replace it with a 6,000-square-foot home. "We had a demolishing party. It was so much fun," she said. "We invited the kids in the neighborhood. The teenagers went nuts, putting trash in my oven, the stove, knocking down walls. We allowed the kids to do graffiti."

Tempe has seen 53 homes demolished in the past three years, according to city demolition permits. The bulk of those, 29, were last year. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

O'Connor to be honored at Capitol statehood festivity

[Source: Arizona Republic] -- Former U.S. Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O'Connor will attend the celebration of the 94th anniversary of Arizona's statehood on Tuesday, February 14, 2006. Gov. Janet Napolitano and state Chief Justice Ruth McGregor will honor O'Connor as part of the festivities. Capitol Museum exhibitors will also present artifacts and hands-on demonstrations in honor of Statehood Day. The program will start at 12:30 p.m. in the State Senate Chamber, 1700 W. Washington St. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Route 66 Initiative meetings go well

[Source: Christy Buckles, Winslow Mail] -- Representatives from the EPA, ADEQ, Winslow, Holbrook, Navajo County, National Park Service, Department of Commerce, ADOT, Department of Housing, and NACOG were gathered at La Posada and in Holbrook to discuss the Route 66 Initiative, as well as other programs to help with underground storage tank removal. "We wanted to bring together as many stake holders as possible," Environmental Protection Agency representative Maggie Witt said. "We wanted to ask what agencies can do to help communities start thinking about redevelopment and cleanup."

During the meeting in Winslow Jan. 26, representatives from each agency participating took time to explain the programs and grants their agency offers, as well as breakdowns of what needed to be done for the respective program/grant. "Arizona contains over 200 miles of original Route 66 roadway," and EPA press release reads. "with approximately 350 leaking underground storage tanks sites or piping along the route."

In 2004, ADEQ launched the initiative to clean up the leaking tanks. According to ADEQ, 28 percent of these sties still need to be cleaned up. The other 250 sites have been cleaned up or do not need it. One of the biggest topics discussed was the use of Brownfields grants to clean up contaminated properties. The Brownfields program provides funding and assistance to assess and clean up properties where there is or possibly is hazardous substances. "A lot of what happens next falls in the hands of the local communities," remarked EPA Regional Program Manager Steven Linder regarding the project.

During the second day in Holbrook they reviewed a similar project completed in Oklahoma and discussed local needs and interest levels. "It started with remediation of underground storage tanks and now it's branching out to redevelopment and revitalization," Linder said regarding the project. Although some grant funding may be available through the EPA, the agency will function as a coordinator for the project, matching up communities and properties with funding sources, as well as providing many other types of assistance.

February 10, 2006 registration deadline for seminar on mid-20th-Century buildings

Identification and Evaluation of Mid-20th-Century Buildings, Phoenix, AZ, March 7-8, 2006 in cooperation with the Public History Program, Department of History, Arizona State University, and State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks.

In post-World War II America, buildings, suburbs, and towns sprang up like lawn weeds. Discuss how these structures fit into today's and tomorrow's historic preservation patterns. With an emphasis on the 1950s, examine the era-specific factors that help to identify and evaluate post-war buildings in terms of their significance for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Instructors: James C. Massey, architectural historian, contributing editor of Old House Journal, and historic preservation consultant to owners of historic property on the use of federal and state rehabilitation tax credits and Shirley Maxwell, historian, historic preservation consultant, contributing editor to Old House Journal, and co-author of House Styles in America and other publications.

This seminar meets the criteria for programs in the American Institute of Architects continuing Education System and AIA members will receive 6 learning units each day.

A registration form is available online. PLEASE NOTE: the advance registration rate of is $375 has been extended to those participants who register by February 10. The general NPI News Release "Professional Seminars in Historic Preservation & Cultural Resource Management" includes the seminar calendar from March through December 2006 plus descriptions of NPI seminars. It can be viewed and downloaded here. If you have questions, contact Jere Gibber, Executive Director, National Preservation Institute, P.O. Box 1702, Alexandria, VA 22313, 703-765-0100; 703-768-9350 fax.

The National Preservation Institute, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, educates those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of our cultural heritage. The 2006 National Preservation Institute seminar schedule is now available online.

Tombstone finds its National Historic Landmark status endangered

[Source: Nancy Beardsley, Voice of America] -- As a former frontier mining camp, Tombstone, Arizona has faced its share of threats and calamities over the years, earning it a reputation as "the town too tough to die." Now the southwestern community is dealing with an official warning from the U.S. National Park Service, which says Tombstone could lose its designation as a National Historic Landmark if it does not depict its past in a more accurate way.

A stagecoach on the streets of Tombstone, Arizona, Tombstone is best known as the scene of the 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, where Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and their friend Doc Holliday had a fatal shootout with a group of cowboys. Each year, some half a million visitors from around the world come to Tombstone to tour its historic downtown of saloons and stagecoaches, pay their respects to fallen frontiersmen at the Boothill Graveyard, and see dramatic reenactments of Old West history.

But are visitors getting a completely accurate picture of Tombstone's colorful past? The National Park Service has cited numerous violations of historical authenticity in Tombstone, including structures that have fake building materials or bear dates suggesting they are older than they really are.

James Garrison, Arizona's State Historic Preservation Officer, says this is not the first time officials have demanded that Tombstone correct violations. But he believes there is a bigger issue in the town as well. Tombstone became a historic landmark as an example of a silver mining town, and it has important physical remains built after the 1881 gunfight. "To the tourists, and I think the community leaders, and a lot of the people who gain a livelihood in Tombstone, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is the pinnacle event that draws people to Tombstone, and so there's some desire to restore the town to the point of the gunfight. But at the same time they have a responsibility to preserve the tangible remains of their entire history."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Nancy Beardsley]

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dual celebration of history comes to Prescott on February 17

The month of February is cause for a dual celebration in Prescott -- the 94th anniversary of Arizona Statehood and the 101st anniversary of the Elks Opera House. The City of Prescott and the Elks Opera House Foundation are celebrating both with feasting and fun on Friday, Feb. 17. The Elks Opera House presents The Arizona Statehood Dinner and Dance to commemorate these important anniversaries.

The evening starts with cocktails and elegant dinner at the Hassayampa Inn. Attendees will walk across Gurley Street on a red carpet to the Elks Opera House for the Statehood Day Show where official State Historian Marshall Trimble will entertain with stories of Arizona's colorful history. Also on the Statehood show bill: Buddy Moeck and his group performing circa 1912 music and the Blue Rose Theater players presenting an original one-act play, "The Little City That Could."

After the show, it's back to the Inn for dessert and dancing to the music of the Keith Brush Band. Tickets for the evening are $149 per person and proceeds benefit the Elks Opera House Foundation for the restoration of the theater. Tickets for the show only are $20. Tickets may be purchased from the Hassayampa Inn or at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St. Tickets for the show only will also be available at the theater ticket window starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 17. The Statehood Dinner and Dance kicks off at 6 p.m. with cocktails in the Hassayampa Inn lobby, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The show starts at approximately 8:30 p.m.

[Note: For more information about the event, call Susan Hampton, Elks Opera House Manager, 923-443-8541 or 888-858-ELKS toll free. Historic photo source: Mike Jones.]

Friday, February 03, 2006

Morrison Institute study says fine-grained urban fabric neccessary for successful revitalization

In the November 2004 Morrison Institute for Public Policy study, "Playing the Inside Game: The Challenge of Urban Revitalization in Arizona," researchers noted that "Phoenix is good at 'the big stuff,' but has struggled to provide the fine-grained urban fabric necessary to make revitalization truly robust. Tempe, the first landlocked city, has used its location, its status as a university town, and the few tools available under Arizona law to score some big successes, but it is unclear whether the city can hold on to those successes. Scottsdale has used some tools, shunned others, and shown mixed success. Mesa and others are just beginning to see whether they can make urban revitalization work."

The report concludes with five sound bites about urban revitalization in Arizona and how to make it work:
  1. Know what you want
  2. Know what you have
  3. Make sure there is a place to come home to -- and a place to walk the dog
  4. If you are going to play the game, get the right equipment
  5. Focus on process as well as money
[Editor's Note: Pictured above are the Storage Warehouse ice house (top) and Chambers Transfer & Storage Building (bottom), typical of the 20 or so remaining downtown Phoenix commercial warehouses. These buildings are historically significant, but threatened by fast-tracked, frenzied land speculation because no clear options currently exist to save them. According to the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, they are the most important historic buildings left in Phoenix's warehouse district and pose an excellent opportunity for revitalization.]

Developers promise projects will complement Glendale's core

[Source: Maura J. Halpern, Arizona Republic] -- Months before construction begins on two downtown Glendale residential projects, developers have compiled a 200-plus interest list. Catlin Court Townhomes and the Art House will provide 62 townhouses and are downtown's first residential projects in 50 years. Plans for the Art House initially featured four stories with condos, but some residents and business owners voiced concerns about the building height and parking options. So developers scaled down the building to address the concerns and rising building costs.

Michael Trailor of Vanguard CityHome LLC of Scottsdale have assured Historic Preservation Commission members that the housing will complement the city core's charm. "Downtown has a special flavor to it," Trailor said to the members, who praised the projects. " By mixing the new with the old, it's like the area is being reborn." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, February 02, 2006

See mound of history from Mesa hospital's deck

[Source: Jim Walsh, Arizona Republic] -- Visitors to Banner Mesa Medical Center soon will get a bird's-eye look into Mesa's roots from an eighth-floor observation center overlooking the Mesa Grande Platform Mound Ruins. This month, a waiting room will be turned into a museum with exhibits explaining the history and significance of the ruins and a second site about a mile northwest at Mesa Riverview. It will feature a mural by artist Craig Chepley. "It's almost like having an aerial view," said Tom Wilson, executive director of the Mesa Southwest Museum, which is developing the exhibit with assistance from the hospital, the Salt River Project, and Southwest Ambulance. "This is an extremely important site and one of the major distribution centers for water."

The Mesa Grande ruins, just west of the nine-story hospital, date to about A.D. 1300. They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but are also on the Arizona Preservation Foundation's list of most endangered historical places. Wilson said Mesa Grande is one of three major Hohokam ruins. The others are Pueblo Grande in Phoenix and the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge. "I think it was a natural partnership for us to develop with the museum," said Susan Gordon, a Banner Mesa spokeswoman. "We have a great view of the ruins." It's unclear how long the observation center will remain open. Banner Health announced more than a year ago the facility would be phased out as the new Banner Gateway opens in Gilbert. [Photo source: Banner Health.]

Rural landscapes and post WWII subdivisions topic of February 24 National Register workshop

[Contact: Kathryn Leonard, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), 602-542-7136] -- Arizona's SHPO will hold a workshop on documenting and evaluating the National Register of Historic Places eligibility of Rural Historic Landscapes and Post World War II Subdivisions.
The workshop will be led by Linda McClelland, National Register Historian and Reviewer for the State of Arizona. Ms. McClelland coauthored the National Register Bulletins on Rural Historic Landscapes and Historic Residential Suburbs and is also well known for her research on the history of landscape architecture in the National Park System.

The intent of this workshop is to provide cultural resources professionals with a better understanding of these challenging property types. Particular emphasis will be given on how to apply the Rural Historic Landscape concept to Arizona’s ranch properties. A question and answer session will follow Ms. McClelland’s presentation on matters pertaining to rural historic landscapes, ranches, Post World War II subdivisions, and technical aspects of the National Register listing process. Space is limited and participation must be confirmed prior to the event by contacting Kathryn Leonard at the e-mail or phone noted above.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NAU alums initiates fund-raising effort to restore logging wheels

[Source: Wayne Connelley, NAU Alumni Association Board of Directors] -- Help the NAU Alumni Association and the NAUAA Past Presidents Club restore the NAU Logging Wheels and preserve a longstanding and cherished collegiate tradition well into the future. Since the 1930s the NAU Logging Wheels have been the centerpiece of the annual Homecoming Parade, carrying the Homecoming Royalty and symbolizing Flagstaff's lumber town heritage. But due to neglect and weather, a full restoration is the only answer to continue the tradition. We have undertaken this project and need your help to achieve three goals:
  1. Restoration: The first goal is to raise $25,000 by July 2006 for a full restoration by a reputable wheelwright company.
  2. Housing and Display: The second goal, once this initial $25K is raised, is the permanent display of the wheels. The university has committed to creating a campus home that will protect these important artifacts from the elements.
  3. Long-Term Care and Maintenance: The third goal is to raise an additional $25,000 which will be placed in a trust fund for the long-term care and maintenance of the wheels.
Please contribute to the NAU Logging Wheels Restoration Fund. The fund is held by the NAU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax deductible. You can contribute online, or mail to: NAU Logging Wheels Restoration Fund (#4983), NAU Foundation, P.O. Box 4068, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4068. [Photo of 1938 Homecoming king and queen riding the traditional logging wheels.]

Winterhaven is 21st Tucson neighborhood on National Register of Historic Places

[Source: Paul L. Allen, Tucson Citizen] -- Tucsonans have known for decades that the Winterhaven neighborhood, an oasis of greenery, is special, particularly at Christmastime when it hosts the annual Festival of Lights. Now the federal government agrees. Winterhaven has just become the 21st Tucson neighborhood included on the National Register of Historic Places. Established in 1948 by developer C.B. Richards, the 265-residence neighborhood is bounded by Prince Road on the north, Country Club Road on the east, Fort Lowell Road on the south, and Tucson Boulevard on the west.

The neighborhood's nomination was prepared by students in the preservation studies program of the University of Arizona's College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and was funded with a city-provided grant. Brooks Jeffery, associate dean of the UA college, said that Winterhaven's inclusion in the register means "the neighborhood is significant in the larger community, a part of the architectural heritage of Tucson."

"On a larger, practical, financial note, it allows 'contributing' properties to enjoy estate tax reductions," added Jeffery, who serves as coordinator of preservation studies at the college. "Contributing" properties, he said, are those that have maintained architectural integrity. Those that have changed, for example, from the original grass landscaping to desert landscaping would not qualify. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Tucson Citizen file photo of 1964 yuletide lights at Christmas Avenue and McKenzie Street in Winterhaven.]

Tempe Council candidates answer media's question about historic preservation

[Source: Arizona Republic] -- On March 14, Tempe voters will go to the polls to elect City Council Members. Among the questions asked of the candidates by the Arizona Republic was the following: "Tempe has struggled to protect its historical sites. What would you do if elected?"

Ben Arredondo: Historic preservation costs money. I do believe it is money well spent, although it may not be available in the quantity that we would like. My record shows strong support for preservation projects. During my tenure we have performed new renovations of the Peterson House, the Hackett House, the Eisendrath House and the Elias Rodriguez House. We have found solutions to save the Farmer-Goodwin Mansion (pictured above) and Tempe National Bank on Mill. We will find a way to preserve the Hayden Flour Mill/Silos that are such a notable focal point. We have preserved the beautiful rock bleachers at Tempe Beach Park and partnered to renovate the baseball field. We have also worked to protect A-Mountain. During my years we have also improved the Tempe Historical Museum and are working to further expand it. Tempe has a rich past that we should celebrate and maintain.

Len Copple: I will continue our efforts to find ways to use private money to fund restoration of city-owned properties such as the Eisendrath House and the Hayden Flour Mill and support their creative reuse. I also encourage more neighborhoods to follow the example set by associations such as Hudson Manor and Maple-Ash to work together for their preservation and protection.

Shauna Ellis: With guidance from the Historic Preservation Commission, I believe Tempe must continue to find suitable partners to invest in Tempe's past. This may be private partners or buildings that are restored with a public use in mind. I have worked in a historic home (the B.B. Moeur residence) since it was rebuilt by the city of Tempe in 1993. I saw first-hand the challenges and opportunities that exist in preserving this home of a former Arizona governor. It is also gratifying to see the interest in the community (almost on a daily basis) in wanting to see and learn about the property. I also continue to witness the pride that the city Historic Preservation Office has in this property. It is very important that Tempe respects its past and I will work with city staff to come up with creative solutions to continue to make this possible.

Onnie Shekerjian: It's exciting to see such enthusiasm for preservation of our historic sites among our private citizens. The city should capture this enthusiasm and aide these private entities in their efforts to preserve our historic sites by (1) encouraging prudent and responsible public/private partnerships, (2) providing coordination and expertise from city staff to share institutional knowledge, and (3) making available any city resources the city already has that would prove helpful.

Corey Woods: As a council member, I would strongly advocate for doing as much as we possibly can to protect Tempe's historic sites. I support the cleanup project that the city is undertaking to begin to restore the Hayden Flour Mill. Tempe should also place a priority on protecting certain older neighborhoods (e.g., I love the Maple-Ash homes). These houses give off a certain aura that should not be destroyed. I will fight to have them preserved. If we don't save pieces of Tempe's past, that history will most likely be lost down the road.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: City of Tempe.]