Friday, March 31, 2006

April 7, 2006 is deadline for 24th Annual Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Awards nominations

The Arizona Preservation Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office/Arizona State Parks invite your nominations for the 24th Annual Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards. Each year ten awards are given to individuals, businesses, organizations, and/or projects in recognition of outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona’s prehistoric and historic resources. This year's awards luncheon and ceremony will be held Friday, June 16, 2006 at the Glendale Civic Center in Glendale, AZ.

Click here to download the 2006 Call for Nominations, Submission Requirements, and Nomination Form (one page). Completed nominations and support material must be received by close of business Friday, April 7, 2006 to Eric Vondy, SHPO/Arizona State Parks, 1300 W. Washington St., Phoenix AZ 85007. Nominations must be received by regular mail or hand delivery. Submissions transmitted via fax or e-mail will not be accepted. If you have questions at any time during the nomination process, contact Eric Vondy at 602-542-6998.

[Note: Pictured above are persons associated with the Rio Nuevo Archaeology and History Public Outreach Program, 2005 Grand Award Winner. Left to right: Doug Gann, Center for Desert Archaeology; Gwen Harvy, Arizona Historical Society; Kyle McCoy, Arizona Historical Society; Beth DeWitt, Arizona State Museum; Marty McCune, Historic Preservation Officer, City of Tucson; William Doelle, Center for Desert Archaeology; Bob Walkup, Mayor of Tucson; and Alan Stephens, Chief of Staff for Operations, Office of the Governor.]

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Scottsdale residents to meet April 8, 2006 on historic district designation

[Source: Don Meserve, City of Scottsdale] -- Meetings are scheduled on Saturday, April 8 with two Scottsdale neighborhoods being considered for local historic district designation. The neighborhood meeting with Cavalier Vista 3 & 4 residents is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., and with Scottsdale Estates 4 residents at 3 p.m.; both at Eldorado Community Center on Miller Road. Residents will learn what it means to be recognized as a significant historic district, why the neighborhood is considered eligible for designation, and how residents can participate in the designation process.

Based on public comment, the Historic Preservation Commission decided at the March meeting to begin a second application cycle for rehab matching funds for eligible exterior improvements for homes in existing historic districts -- Village Grove 1-6 and Town and Country Scottsdale. The workshop will be conducted on Saturday, April 8 at the Community Design Studio at 7506 E. Indian School Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents can discuss improvement plans and design ideas with staff and/or architects, and can learn details about the program, how to apply, and the selection process. Residents will be requested to submit applications by May 15. [Photo source: Jennifer Hibbard & Christine Kinchen.]

Patriotic group to form new chapter in Buckeye on April 8, 2006

[Source: Arizona Republic] -- The Daughters of the American Revolution is forming a new chapter in Buckeye, Arizona. The service organization has three objectives: historic preservation, education, and patriotism. The public is invited to attend the new members meeting at 1 p.m. April 8 at the First Southern Baptist annex building, 405 N. Third St. For more information, contact Beverly Carrigan, 623-386-6616, or Linda Davis, 623-694-5169.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Arizona Office of Tourism seeks special cultural & historic sites by April 10, 2006

The Arizona Office of Tourism and the Sonora Office of Tourism, together with the Tucson-based Sonoran Institute and the Arizona Bureau of Land Management, are calling on locals to nominate their favorite areas and sites in the Southern Arizona-Sonora region that are geographically, culturally, and historically unique. As part of a project with National Geographic to increase knowledge about sustainable tourism and destination stewardship, the Southern Arizona and Sonora regions are compiling a map of local attractions that help promote Geotourism, which is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place -– its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.

Called the Geotourism MapGuide project, this venture marks the first bi-national effort that National Geographic has undertaken and offers locals a chance to nominate potential points of interest for the map from the Greater Phoenix Metro area through Southern Arizona and Sonora. Click here for a map detailing the areas included. Candidates might include a national park, museum, or historic site, but might also be a private enterprise, such as a family-owned restaurant serving cuisine indicative of the border region’s heritage, a historic hotel, or community-run craft center. National Geographic expects to receive more than 1,000 nominations of sites in both Southern Arizona and Sonora and after review by National Geographic, an estimated 300 sites will be included in the MapGuide.

The Southern Arizona-Sonora region is comprised of historic structures and archaeological sites, scenic landscapes, traditional architecture and local music, cuisine, crafts, dances, and other arts that are distinctive to the area. The MapGuide project will promote these attractions and teach tourists how to experience the area in a way that will minimize impact and preserve all of the attributes that make a location unique. Local communities will benefit through valuable tourist revenue that can help restore historic districts, support local craftspeople, preserve and develop local cuisines, and retain traditional cultural celebrations and performing arts that would otherwise disappear.

To nominate a site, click here. Nomination forms can be downloaded and e-mailed or submitted directly to: Sonoran Institute, Main Office, Attn: Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar, 7650 E. Broadway, Suite 203, Tucson, AZ 85710. Additional documentation such as maps, photos, or brochures are welcome and can be mailed to the above address. Nominations will be taken through April 10, 2006. For more information, contact Marci Elizondo by e-mail or phone: 602-364-3720.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Deadline for Phoenix Historic Buildings Photography Project is April 13, 2006

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture's Public Art Program is seeking a photographer to create a portfolio of historic Phoenix buildings that reflects a unique artistic vision. The project is open to any professional artist residing in Arizona. Photographers working with analog and/or digital methods are encouraged to apply. The estimated budget is $25,000 inclusive of all costs related to the artwork. Application deadline is April 13, 2006. For complete details on this project and other opportunities through Phoenix Public Art, click here. For national public art opportunities, click here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Arizona Preservation Foundation updates website with new information and photos

The Arizona Preservation Foundation's website has been updated with the following features and enhancements:
  • More dynamic HOME page where key news and information is highlighted.
  • Updated ENDANGERED PLACES page with links to "blog" listings of the Foundation's Endangered Historic Places List and Properties to Watch List.
  • Updated GOVERNOR'S AWARDS page where you can download 2006 nomination form. Deadline is April 7!
  • Updated RESOURCES page with ability to organize sections and add new ones.
  • New CONFERENCES page. Registration forms now available online for April 27 "Historic Preservation 101" Workshop in Tucson and June 15-17 Arizona Statewide Historic Preservation Conference!
  • Updated JOIN US page (with updated Member/Volunteer Form).
  • Updated CONTACT page (where the APF board list is now situated).
  • Ability to quickly add/change text and photographs internally.
Special thanks to the Phoenix-based print, media, and website design firm of Anamorphics, Inc. for their advice and assistance in updating our website!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Historic adobe mansion's future uncertain in Tempe

[Source: Mike Padgett, Business Journal of Phoenix] -- One of the Valley's few remaining links to its early architecture will benefit from a dinner attended by some of Tempe's future community leaders. The Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation and Tempe Leadership Class XXI want to raise funds to help preserve a rambling adobe house just north of the Arizona Historical Museum in north Tempe. The home, listed on the city's historic register and said to have a ghost, was built in 1930 as a winter residence for Rose Eisendrath, widow of a Chicago glove manufacturer.

The two-story adobe house, with 5,250 square feet, is considered a prime example of the Pueblo Revival style. It was built by Robert T. Evans, an architect and contractor who in 1923 moved to Arizona from Chicago. His first job, according to a 1999 report on the house prepared for Tempe by Alliance Architects, was helping restore La Casa Vieja, which today is Monti's. Evans also built his personal residence on the southern slope of Camelback Mountain. It later was converted into the Jokake Inn, a desert retreat for wealthy visitors. The report says Evans' design of the Eisendrath house and others, using a traditional adobe style, is credited with inspiring a revival of adobe architecture in central Arizona from the mid-1920s to the 1940s...

To help the city pay for preserving the historic property, Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation and Tempe Leadership are organizing a cocktail reception, dinner, and a silent auction to be held May 6 at the Tempe Historical Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave. The event is open to the public. For more information, call 480-946-2186. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office.]

Arizona women finally get their due

[Source: Janie Magruder, Arizona Republic] -- Arizona women have made important contributions in farming, ranching, education, government, labor, culture, and domestic history. But you wouldn't know it by history books, which devote as little as 2 percent of their content to American women's achievements, even though women and girls comprise more than 50 percent of the population. A new project, the Arizona Women's Heritage Trail, aims to bridge that knowledge gap.

A partnership of organizations that includes the Arizona State University Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office, and women's studies departments at the three state universities, the multicultural trail should open in time for the state's centennial in 2012. That year also is the 100th anniversary of Arizona women gaining the right to vote, eight years before a federal constitutional amendment granted women suffrage nationwide. The trail isn't what you think -- it won't be a walking, biking, or hiking trail crisscrossing the state. Rather, says project director Joan Meacham, it's envisioned as a collection of ideas, from tourism materials and a Web site to markers at significant historical sites, audio tours, and school curricula. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Architect Stephen Farneth to discuss preservationist view of time, March 31, University of Arizona

[Source: Brooks Jeffrey, University of Arizona] -- The Preservation Studies program of the University of Arizona's College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture will hold a public lecture by preservation architect Stephen Farneth FAIA on Friday, March 31, 2006, 4:30 p.m. at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) Building, Room 202 (hourly parking is available at the Park Avenue Garage).

The topic of the lecture will be "A Different Idea of Time: A Preservationist's View" consistent with the College's Spring 2006 Lecture Series theme of "Time." The illustrated lecture will discuss the difference of design life expectations between contemporary and historic buildings, fashion, and the concept of style exhaustion, as well as use obsolescence and the transitory nature of the building program. A reception will follow the lecture at the Smith House/Center for Preservation Studies (pictured above) within walking distance of the lecture auditorium.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rehab of Phoenix's Steele Indian School Park historic structures to begin in April

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] -- The City of Phoenix is gearing up to start construction in early April on a multi-phased rehabilitation project for the three historic buildings remaining at Steele Indian School Park. The Historic Preservation Office, Parks & Recreation, and the Office of Arts and Culture are combining funds from the 2001 and 2006 Bonds, Arizona Heritage Funds, and a Save America's Treasures grant (federal money for rehab of nationally significant properties) to rehab the three buildings. Memorial Hall (pictured above) will be the primary focus of the first project phase of work. This phase will also include replacement of the roof at the Band Building, and stabilization of the windows, walls, and foundation on the Dining Hall. Staff anticipates beginning the abatement of hazardous materials, including asbestos in the roofs of the Band Building and Memorial Hall, in the next 10-14 days. Rehabilitation work is scheduled to take about nine months.

Border artifacts, cultural sites are in danger

[Source: Billy House, Arizona Republic] -- Archaeological and historical sites along the U.S. border with Mexico and other valuable cultural resources are being destroyed, including areas held sacred by Native Americans, according to a new report from a presidential advisory panel. The culprits: dynamic population growth and urbanization in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California, combined with increased cross-border traffic and illegal immigration through the region and related border enforcement. Unless many of these cultural and natural resources along the U.S.-Mexican border are better protected, and soon, they will not be available for future generations, the panel warns.

"It's impossible to preserve everything," said Paul Ganster, chairman of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board, a committee of academics and representatives of local governments, non-profit groups, tribes and federal agencies that advises the White House and Congress about issues along the border. But, Ganster said, "we should want to preserve for future generations the opportunities we've had to enjoy these areas that remind us of our historical and cultural past and (that) relate to who we are and where we've come from. Once changed, they are obliterated forever."

For example, the volunteer Arizona Site Steward Program documented more than 50 acts of vandalism to sites in southern Arizona during 2005, the board said, including pothunting, surface collection of artifacts, illegal dumping of trash, removal of petroglyphs, fence-cutting and damage from off-road vehicles. In El Paso County, Texas, vandals at the Hueco Tanks Historic Site have defaced pictographs (rock paintings) in the past 15 years, causing what the report calls "irreparable destruction."

The advisory panel's recommendations have no force. But they are being distributed to government officials, landowners and others to help increase awareness of the problems and to generate coordinated public and private efforts to preserve the historic sites and lands. The "border region" is defined in the report as areas in the four states that are within 60 miles of the U.S.-Mexican line. In the almost 10,000 years of settlement in the region, the report says, there are archaeological sites and cultural areas that include Native American villages, historic mission churches and Mexican and U.S. territorial-era ranches, as well as historic mining districts, frontier towns, and early railroads, roads and trails.

Among the panel's recommendations:
  • Increase monitoring activities at archaeological sites.
  • Increase partnerships among preservation groups, governments and private groups to buy sensitive land with valuable cultural and natural resources and to manage growth.
  • Create more incentive programs and funding to encourage private landowners and developers to voluntarily protect cultural resources.
  • Increase public attention to the effects of illegal immigration across tribal lands and give greater attention to the special practices and activities linked to locations of cultural significance.
  • Minimize off-road driving and creation of new roads by the U.S. Border Patrol, and increase "training of Border Patrol personnel in cultural sensitivity and appreciation of the border region's diverse cultural heritage.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ideas taking shape as Phoenix kids' museum nears April groundbreaking

[Source: Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor, Arizona Republic] -- The Children's Museum of Phoenix won't be a collection of exhibits. Rather, its creators envision a place that will foster children's early-education development, where toddlers and little kids can engage their minds and bodies in imaginative play. Museum officials also see it as a center that doubles as a living lab for Arizona State University students. The partnership with ASU is the latest development, and boost, for the museum that will soon be under construction at Seventh and Van Buren streets in Phoenix. Officials plan to break ground on the $22 million project in April and open its doors by 2007.

Kate Wells, director of communication and development for the museum, said she was enthusiastic about the plans finally unfolding. "Play is really key to the inner workings of a child," Wells said. "This is the last piece of the cultural puzzle in Phoenix. We don't address the children in a comprehensive way." Phoenix is one of the few major cities without a children's museum. There are about 400 across the country.

Like many other non-profits, the museum has struggled to raise money. Phoenix voters bought into the idea and in 2001 approved giving the fledgling museum $10.5 million as part of the city's bond program. Founders have to raise an additional $12.3 million to renovate and convert historic Monroe School into a playground for children and their imaginations. Phoenix Suns managing general partner Jerry Colangelo and owner Robert Sarver are heading up that capital campaign, which has already raised more than $4 million.

When all the construction dust settles, its youngest patrons will delve into role play, create art and explore hands-on exhibits that will stimulate their senses, all inside a 1913 school that served children from the surrounding neighborhoods until the early 1970s. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Jury finds city not liable for damage to old Tucson adobes

[Source: Arizona Daily Star] -- A Pima County Superior Court jury has found the city was not responsible for damage to more than a dozen 19th-century and early 20th-century adobe buildings owned by the Rollings family, which has been recognized by both the city and the state for its historic preservation efforts. The suit, filed in 2002, complained many of the family's properties in Barrio Viejo, south of the Tucson Community Center, were damaged by water leaking from city water lines as a result of inadequate city maintenance. Water from the lines migrated to their properties and buckled the building foundations and destroyed the adobe and rock walls, the suit contends. Plaintiffs Kelley, Donald, Sally, Betsy, and Brad Rollings and Ann Shiff, all members of the family, alleged the city failed to repair damaged water lines even though city officials knew the water was damaging the historic buildings.

City officials acknowledged when the suit was filed the ground in the area had an above average amount of moisture. But they said pressure checks and other tests indicated no leaks in their lines, so the water must have come from another source. According to court documents, the jury found in favor of the city on Friday, after 12 days of testimony and less than four hours of deliberations. The nine jurors found the city wasn't negligent, nor was it guilty of trespassing or being a nuisance. [Photo source: Anne Weeks]

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

East Camelback neighborhood issues still in flux; public meeting scheduled for March 30

[Source: Paul Barnes, Neighorhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix] -- On September 9, 2005, the Phoenix City Council approved developer sponsored changes to The Plan which many felt destroyed its vision, scrapped its established development limits which were to remain firm until 2015, and made a mockery of citizen planning via the district village planning committee process. One result was that developers such as Trump/Bayrock could build to very substantial increases in height without going through a rezoning process.

A political organization called P’OED (“People Organized Exercising Democracy”) formed and waged a successful referendum battle. Twice the required number of signatures (9,923) were turned in. As a result of the successful referendum drive, the City Council repealed its September vote, rather than submitting the issue to a city-wide vote on the March 14 ballot along with the seven Bond Propositions.

Continuing to show its favoritism to developers, the Phoenix Planning Commission waived the one year waiting requirement and started the whole review process all over again at the same development limits it supported in September 2005 (i.e. height limits of 190’ without going through a rezoning process). Trump is gone, but all the other developers are still seeking substantial increases in height to those currently allowed in The Plan. The Steering Committee of the Referendum effort is involved in a continuing mediation effort with the largest of these developers under the sponsorship of the City Council to explore resolving their differences. It is not possible to predict what degree of success, if any, will be achieved under this process.

The Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix encourages interested persons to attend the following community meeting on The Plan:

  • Thursday, March 30 at 6 p.m.
  • City Council Chambers at 200 W. Jefferson (round building behind old City Hall Building)
  • Parking: City garage on 4th Ave. As you are heading west on Washington, turn left on 4th Ave. and immediately turn left into garage.

If you have any questions, contact Paul Barnes, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix, by e-mail or phone: 602-840-1579.

Volunteers needed to judge National History Day student entries

There is an urgent need for judges at the state finals of National History Day in Arizona to be held on April 8, 2006 in Phoenix. NHD is short 22 category judges and four special awards judges. NHD had 270 students last year and there are 375 eligible this year. If you want to have a lot of fun while helping out, please contact Laurie Devine by e-mail or phone 602-542-4159.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Phoenicians overwhelmingly approve $28.5 million for historic preservation

With 133 out of 133 precincts reporting the evening of March 14, 2006, an estimated 15.1% of eligible voters overwhelmingly approved all seven City of Phoenix bond propositions. As expected, the public safety and infrastructure propositions fared best. Propositions relating to historic preservation, along with a variety of other "quality of life" projects and programs, all garnered an impressive 63-66% of the vote.
  1. 73.01% Yes ~ 26.99% No
  2. 70.44% Yes ~ 29.56% No
  3. 63.47% Yes ~ 36.53% No
  4. 63.25% Yes ~ 36.75% No
  5. 64.66% Yes ~ 35.34% No
  6. 65.73% Yes ~ 34.27% No
  7. 69.92% Yes ~ 30.08% No
Background. Long-time Phoenicians know that the City has been holding bond elections since 1957. And over the course of 49 years, city leaders have perfected the art of developing and selling bond packages to Phoenix voters. Unlike other U.S. cities which rely on more top-down approaches for crafting bond proposals, Phoenix uses a community-driven process to earmark worthy bond initiatives. It is not surprising then that many of our favorite urban amenities were borne from past bond elections. These include the ultra-modern Burton Barr Central Library, the flashy renovated Symphony Hall, and the cool Phoenix Art Museum. Also popular with voters have been neighborhood and historic preservation initiatives -- such as those to purchase and restore Tovrea Castle, support neighborhood revitalization, and support historic building and low income housing rehabilitation work.

As has been done in past years, more than 700 Phoenix residents helped to identify items for the community's 2006 bond program. Now set at $878.5 million, this bond package will use money generated by the current property tax rate to repay bonds. When Phoenicians voted by early ballot or Election Day, they found seven propositions on the ballot, loosely falling under the headings of public safety; technology; education; parks and recreation; libraries, community and cultural centers; housing and neighborhoods; and public infrastructure. The actual seven ballot items, with somewhat abbreviated titles, are:
  1. Strengthening Police, Fire, and Homeland Security
  2. Using Technology to Improve Police and Fire, Governmental Efficiency...and Access to Voting
  3. Building Small High Schools, Higher Education, and Health Science Facilities
  4. Increasing Recreational Opportunities with New Parks and Open Spaces
  5. Serving our Community with Libraries and Youth, Senior, and Cultural Centers
  6. Providing Housing that is Affordable...and Revitalizing Neighborhoods
  7. Constructing Streets and Storm Sewers...Infrastructure
This bond package offers a comprehensive plan to improve Phoenix’s quality of life and economic vitality. In all, over $28.5 million is earmarked specifically for historic preservation projects and programs, with millions more proposed for other worthy central city and citywide initiatives. Historic preservation projects were on Ballot Propositions 3, 4, 5, and 6. Visit Preservation Picks 3-4-5-6 for summaries of the historic preservation projects in these four propositions.

It was the position of the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition, Downtown Voices Coalition, Phoenix Museum of History, Arizona Preservation Foundation, Arizona Humanities Council, Arizona Action for the Arts, and National Trust for Historic Preservation (among many other organizations) that Phoenix voters should vote “yes” on all seven ballot propositions. And for die-hard historic preservation aficionados, it was essential to vote for "Preservation Picks 3-4-5-6."

News coverage:

Monday, March 13, 2006

Arizona receives funding for National Scenic Byways

[Source: Arizona Office on Tourism] -- On March 6, 2006, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta announced the recipients of the FY 2005 National Scenic Byways Program grant funding. The grants are part of the Federal Highway Administration's National Scenic Byways Program, which recognizes and enhances selected roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, or scenic qualities. Arizona has received funding for five Scenic Byway grants:

  • Brochures to market Arizona's Scenic Byways
  • Resource Protection Plan and Interpretation Plan for Dine'Tah "Among the People" Scenic Byway (two grants)
  • Arizona Highways 2005 (marketing Scenic Byways website and book)
  • Update application procedures for parkway, historic, and scenic roads in Arizona

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Marilyn Jarrett, state senator and neighborhood and history advocate, passes away

State Senator Marilyn Jarrett of Mesa, age 67, died early Friday, March 10, 2006 after suffering a stroke in her office at the Legislature on Thursday. In a statement, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon noted that Senator Jarrett "served our state and its citizens with distinction, with dedication, and with a caring heart. She worked hard to keep crime out of our neighborhoods, while also working to preserve the history and heritage of those neighborhoods. She was a person of principle, a protector of families, and one who understood how we must learn from the past in order to gain a vision for the future.

"Most importantly, Marilyn always earned the respect of those around her, because she always showed respect to others no matter what their views, differences, or background. I remember well talking with her at a renovation event at the famed Tovrea Castle and saw the sparkle in her eye as she talked about preserving our state’s heritage both physically and spiritually. She truly cared about Arizona and its people. Her family has so much to be proud of, and she will be missed by so many in so many ways."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hohokam clues preserved at site of future Tucson homes

[Source: Dale Quinn, Arizona Daily Star] -- Single-family homes will emerge on the banks of the Tanque Verde Wash on a site that supported a significant Hohokam Indian population more than 800 years ago. For the past seven weeks, a crew from Desert Archaeology Inc. -- a business that specializes in cultural resources research -- has worked painstakingly to collect information and artifacts from the site. Over the next two years, archaeologists will compile the information and write an extensive report detailing their findings.

It's part of striking a balance between preserving the area's archaeological history and allowing for growth, said a Tucson historic-preservation officer, Marty McCune. "We know the archaeology (site) is going to be destroyed," McCune said. "But we're spending time and money to try and preserve some of that."

The developer of the property, Jim Campbell, the president of OasisTucson Inc., said he would like to integrate the new homes with open space that retains the historic significance of the site. "I'm sure some developers view is it as a hassle, but I believe it's part of the process," he said. "It's part of our history." The remains of about 40 prehistoric homes lie in the mesquite bosque on the southern bank of the Tanque Verde Wash just north of Speedway between Harrison and Houghton roads.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source of archaeologists Robert Ciaccio and Chris Merriman working on a Hohokam Indian site along the Tanque Verde Wash that will soon hold houses: Benjie Sanders, Arizona Daily Star.]

Thursday, March 09, 2006

City of Mesa reorganizes HP and downtown development offices

[Source: Art Thomason, Arizona Republic] -- Chris Brady's impressive track record in economic development played a key role in his selection as Mesa's city manager. Now, less than two months after taking office, he is realigning the city's splintered business recruitment and retention force with an eye on downtown. Brady (pictured above) this month placed the downtown redevelopment operations back under control of the Economic Development Department, which will have a new director picked this year by Brady. For almost six years, downtown business redevelopment operations were curiously detached from economic development's authority and placed under the wing of neighborhood improvement administrators. Under that arrangement, Town Center Development and historic preservation were combined into one division and answered to the Neighborhood Services Department. The link between the job functions was tenuous, at best, city officials said. But nothing was done until Brady took the reins as city manager Jan. 1...

Under Mesa's new departmental structure, the Town Center Development and Historic Preservation Division has been split. Town center development is now assigned to the Economic Development Department and historic preservation stays with neighborhood services.

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

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

National Trust names Prescott one of America's 12 "distinctive destinations"

[Source: Nancy Burgess, City of Prescott] -- The City of Prescott was named one of America's "Dozen Distinctive Destinations," an honor bestowed on a select few by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Prescott Mayor Rowle Simmons announced today. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the largest private, non-profit preservation organization in the U.S., selected Prescott from 93 destinations in 39 states. Only 12 communities across the country are chosen as Distinctive Destinations each year. "Prescott offers visitors an opportunity to experience a vibrant and exciting city that blends the best of small-town hospitality with authentic western feel," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "When you combine the spectacular natural beauty of the region with Prescott's architectural and cultural heritage, it's easy to see why this is such an ideal destination."

Prescott's historical prominence as the two-time territorial capital, as well as its more than 700 buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, contributed to its success in the nomination, which was prepared by the city's Historic Preservation Specialist Nancy Burgess, Economic Development Director Jane Bristol, and Economic Development Secretary Donna Orman. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce and Prescott Downtown Partnership supported the city's application. "We are thrilled to accept this honor on behalf of the people of Prescott, the business community, and city employees who work tirelessly to maintain the charm and historic integrity of Prescott," said Mayor Simmons.

The city's frontier past, its dedication to preservation of historic places and buildings, museums, vibrant downtown area and many options for outdoor enthusiasts are all distinguishing characteristics of Prescott that won the designation. The city was previously named a Preserve America Community by First Lady Laura Bush for its commitment to historic preservation. It is also designated an Arizona Main Street Community by the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Representatives from the National Trust for Historic Preservation will visit Prescott in May to present the award at an event to be held at the Elks Opera House. For more information, contact Nancy Burgess or Jane Bristol, 928-777-1100.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Phoenix to complete inventory of post WWII commercial architecture

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] -- The Phoenix City Council approved spending up to $40,000 in Historic Preservation Bond funding to complete an inventory and popular publication of post World War II commercial architecture in Phoenix. The project will be completed by the end of December 2006, and was identified as a high priority item by the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission. The project will also use a $60,000 Heritage Fund grant provided by Arizona State Parks.

[For more information about post World War II architecture in Phoenix, visit Modern Phoenix. Photo source of 1950s office building at 341 E. Camelback designed by Al Beadle: Modern Phoenix.]

Advocates for Arizona arts, culture, and historic preservation pass away

Gary Avey, age 65, passed away in his Phoenix home on December 20, 2005, of complications from lung cancer. In 1979, he was selected editor of Arizona Highways. Under his direction, the magazine grew to its all-time-high circulation of 500,000. In 1985, he was appointed deputy director of the Heard Museum, where, among his other duties, in 1987 he launched a modest quarterly museum magazine called Native Peoples. He served on the boards of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizonans for Cultural Development, Arts and Business Council of Greater Phoenix, and Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture's arts and cultural development committee.

Sam Chu Lin, age 67, trail-blazing Asian-American journalist, died March 5, 2006 after collapsing upon landing at the Burbank, CA Airport. Sam was one of the first and most well-known broadcast journalists of Chinese heritage. His tenure at CBS was successful and long (including a stint as anchor and reporter for KOOL-TV in Phoenix), and blazed a path for many Asian-Americans who succeeded him. During the past several weeks, Sam spent many hours researching and learning about the Save SunMerc Coalition's efforts to preserve Phoenix's Sun Mercantile Building and develop an Asian-American museum. His Sun Merc story, his last, was published in several national Asian print and electronic media.

Byron S. Harvey, III, age 73, of Boston, MA, formerly of Chicago, died December 20, 2005 of a heart attack. A noted collector and scholar of Native American art and culture, Byron was responsible for donations to museums, libraries, and cultural centers throughout the U.S., including the gift to the Field Museum while in his youth of an important group of Hopi kachina dolls. His major legacy was the gift of over 2,000 objects to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, where he also arranged for the donation of the major collection of Native American art formed by the Fred Harvey Company, founded by his great-grandfather.

George Hormel, owner of the Wrigley Mansion and heir to the meat-packing Hormel Foods Corp., died February 12, 2006 at his home in Paradise Valley. He was 77. In 1992, he bought the historic Wrigley Mansion, built by the chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. in the late 1920s, as a 50th wedding anniversary gift for his wife. He restored it to its original splendor featuring his private art collection.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

National Park Service seeks feedback on Section 106 compliance at our national parks

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their proposals on historic properties and provide state/tribal historic preservation offices and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) a reasonable opportunity to review and comment on those actions. In 1995, the National Park Service (NPS), National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and ACHP signed a servicewide programmatic agreement (PA) that tailors the Section 106 process to NPS program needs. The NPS has initiated the effort to revise the existing PA or develop a new nationwide PA to address historic property management and compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA and 36 CFR 800. The existing PA under which the NPS operates was signed in 1995 and therefore, pre-dates more recent revisions to the implementing regulations of the ACHP. As such, the NPS has identified revision of the existing PA or development of a new PA as a priority.

Interested parties are invited to provide their feedback on this project by March 24, 2006. Click here to download the brochure with complete details and contact information.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Payson Main Street business owners take charge of their own future

[Source: Jim Keyworth, Payson Roundup] -- As members of the brand new Main Street Merchants' Committee mingled with a mix of town staff, council members, and candidates Monday evening, you'd never guess that Main Street's lone full-service restaurant had just been shuttered. "(MSMC) is just getting on its feet and really starting to move," said Carol McCauley, Main Street project manager. "It's a very good group. It's a very active group. They really want to be part of the town, and they want the town to know they are part of the town."

The mood was upbeat at the first open house of the recently-formed committee. At a time when Main Street is struggling for public support, the message they wanted to convey was simple. The 68 businesses along the town's historic main drag are united and taking charge of their own future. "As the different merchants get really involved, they'll be taking over a lot of the program," McCauley said. "It's a positive move forward for Main Street."

Mike Stuart, owner of Gasoline Alley and president of the new merchants' committee, opened the event. "There's no formal program tonight," he said. "It's just a chance for all the businesses to talk to staff." McCauley, who served on the Oceanside, CA Town Council before moving to Payson, said the formula for the merchants' committee is a solid one. "When I was on the council in Oceanside, I served as kind of a liaison between the council and Main Street, and (Main Street) seemed to evolve out of the merchants association," she said. "Now we are getting the merchants involved and getting them to take over as much of the program as they can. The only way it's going to be successful is if it has (the merchants') buy-in."

Robert Herrera, one of the new owners of the Oxbow, said he was sorry to see Mad Dawg's and Mel's close because of the boost two restaurants would have given to Main Street. Herrera hopes to open a steak house restaurant at the Ox Bow Saloon in May. "I was hoping (Mad Dawg's) was staying open," he said. "The more things we have on Main Street, the better."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source of Payson's Lone Pine Hotel: Town of Payson.]

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Efforts begin to save Seligman's Harvey House

[Source: Mary Clurman, Seligman Historical Society] -- When the Santa Fe Railroad built the Seligman Harvey House, ca. 1890, the company christened it Havasu. The Indian name furthered Fred Harvey's developing tradition, part of his grand vision of fine dining for the newly opened Western United States. Harvey was not only a great marketer but also a gracious host and restaurateur. The Havasu, like La Posada in Winslow, El Tovar at the Grand Canyon, as well as the now demolished Fray Marcos in Williams and Escalante in Ash Fork, offered a comfortable destination for those eager to explore the rugged West. Even as a stop-over it gave real relief from sleeping on trains and consuming the stale coffee and rancid bacon typically offered railside.

In addition to the railroad's ticket office, a roundhouse and 11 tracks running through, the Havasu sported a reading room, a large, curving lunch counter, a bar, a restaurant, and 50+ well-appointed rooms for staff and travelers, plus a doctor's office and the only telephone for miles around. For truly fine dining, Harvey brought in fresh, natural produce from the nearby Del Rio ranch, preparing it in the grand European manner. The now famous Harvey Girls served from the extensive menu on delicate china, with sterling silverware, Irish linen, and flowers from the Havasu's garden.

The Havasu is still a grand building, but it's crumbling. The timber and half-timber details of its Prairie-style facade yielding to sun and wind; windows are boarded, and the red tile roof leaks here and there. The huge building is slated for demolition -- not today, but in some unspecified tomorrow. That gives local citizens a chance to save it. The best idea seems to be to get a commercial appraisal for the land alone and then make an offer to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which inherited it from the old Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. That will allow local preservation advocates to work for grants to restore the property.

Interested persons are welcome to help preserve this handsome bit of history, with its ties to the heyday of the railroad and what is now the last of America's once-Wild West. Donations are being accepted by the Seligman Historical Society, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, at P. O. Box 51, Seligman, AZ 86337. Donations should be marked, "Havasu." For more information, visit our website.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

March 2006 is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month

March is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. Over 100 prehistoric and historic site tours, exhibits, hikes, open houses, lectures, and hands-on demonstrations will help communicate efforts to preserve our fragile and non-renewable cultural resources. Throughout the state, museums, historical societies, Native American tribes, Hispanic groups, state/federal agencies, parks, and archaeology organizations will host events; many of which are planned in Arizona State Parks as part of their interpretive programs. Click here for a calendar of activities taking place throughout the month of March.

The featured event is the Arizona Archaeology Expo at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park (pictured above) on March 3-4, 2006. Both days are open to the public and the event is free. The Expo provides a special opportunity to learn why it’s important to preserve archaeological sites and historic places; what archaeologists, historians, and tribal members do in their jobs; and about the prehistory and history of Arizona.
  • Over 30 special displays and booths will allow visitors to participate as an archaeologist might in their research today, or make crafts that teach how prehistoric Native Americans and other early inhabitants survived in the Southwest, or play historic period games.
  • Living history re-enactors, storytellers, Native American demonstrators and entertainers, and hands-on activities will help make the past come alive.
  • Tours of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in the Santa Cruz River Valley area will be featured; some of these sites are not normally open to the public.
  • Free raffles featuring prizes of archaeology education-related items will take place.
  • Local ethnic foods will be available for purchase.
[Note: For more information, contact Ann Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager, 602-542-7138. Photo source: Arizona State Parks.]

Public-private partnership preserves ancient Hohokam village in Oro Valley

[Source: Greg Holt, Northwest Explorer] -- Oro Valley's first residents might be happy to learn how much the town values its earliest history and native heritage. With a new partnership officially in place, the historic Hohokam Indian site in Oro Valley -- known as Honey Bee Village -- will now be preserved, thanks to the combined efforts of the town of Oro Valley, Pima County, a local developer, and the Tohono O'Odham nation. Creation of the Honey Bee Village Preserve was marked in a ceremony featuring speeches from town and county officials and leaders of the Tohono O'odham nation Feb. 23. An archeologist was on hand to lead a tour of the site.

The new preserve was established to protect what is considered to be the most historically and archeologically important site in Oro Valley. A large Hohokam Indian community occupied the site between 700 AD and 1200 AD, according to archeologists. Honey Bee Village is located just north of the intersection of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Moore Road. Archeologists have identified the locations of hundreds of pit houses, a ball court, a walled compound and a central compound on the relatively undisturbed site where developers once intended to build the town center for Oro Valley. Preservation of the 13-acre village core was made possible through a donation of the land by Canada Vista Homes, which will put the $8 million piece of real estate into the public trust after a final archeological survey is completed this summer and the final plat for the site is approved by the town council. "The Hohokam picked a nice piece of real estate to settle. On one hand, we have 13 acres of highly valuable real estate, and on the other hand we have an invaluable historic resource that would be plowed over and lost forever," said Steve Solomon, owner of Canada Vistas Homes, the development company that purchased the land last year.

Pima County originally intended to use $1 million in preservation bond funds to purchase the land before its real estate value skyrocketed to $8 million. In exchange for his donation, Pima County has agreed to use those funds to conduct an archeological survey of the land around the Honey Bee Village Preserve to collect any artifacts or Indian remains and clear the way for future development. Solomon plans to use surrounding land for 145 single family homes, 124 luxury condominiums and a 10-acre neighborhood mall to be known as Honey Bee Plaza. The mall will include 90,000 square feet of specialty shops, restaurants and office space. "(Donating the land) was the right thing to do, and if it's done the right way, it will be an asset to the development around it. People will be buying homes there because they want be a part of the historic site," Solomon said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Map: Arizona Daily Star.]

Gilbert mayor keys in on growth and preservation

[Source: Beth Lucas, East Valley Tribune] -- Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman focused on the future in his State of the Town address Tuesday -- thanking town officials and volunteers for hard work in 2005 that has set up 2006 success stories. “We’re creating a town we can all be proud of and proud to live in,” Berman said. Historic preservation was key in 2005, and 2006 will bring the results of some of that planning as the town’s first jail is renovated as part of a water tower park (pictured above) in the Heritage District. Town history will also be preserved in two parks that open this year -- Discovery Park, named after Columbian mammoth tusks found in 2005 near Pecos Road and Val Vista Drive, and Cosmo Park, named for the town’s first police dog. These are important elements, he said, in a town where one-third of the residents are 13 and younger...

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