Thursday, July 27, 2006

New power line might run along historic cemeteries

[Source: Florence Reminder] -- The final resting place of Granville Oury, Arizona's congressional delegate to the Confederacy and holder of other important positions in the Arizona Territory, is in the AOUW Cemetery on Adamsville Road (pictured at left). The inscription on the monument appears to be missing, either through vandalism or neglect. In the distance are the fenced graves of Florence pioneers John B. and Carmen Michea. Among many others buried here is Sidney Bartleson, first cousin to Harry Truman. To the east is the Butte Views cemetery. APS is researching and negotating to find whether it can site a power line on these historic cemeteries.

Local historic preservationists are watching closely to see how a new APS power line will possibly encroach on two historic cemeteries on Adamsville Road, across from the Florence Indian Village. The affected cemeteries are the Butte Views Cemetery, consisting of just over five acres and badly overgrown with brush; and the AOUW cemetery to west of it, which is approximately four acres. Laid to rest here are many prominent pioneers and other early Florence residents who died in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Until recently both cemeteries were owned by groups which apparently no longer exist. The Florence Rotary Club obtained the Buttes View cemetery in 2000 through a quit-claim deed. The club obtained the deed with the goal of beautifying the cemetery, but it remains heavily overgrown. APS has been unable to find a current owner of the AOUW (Ancient Order of United Workmen) cemetery with whom to negotiate, according to Jeff Creedon, an APS supervisor. He said the company hasn't made any final decisions, and wishes to address concerns including historic preservation. "We'll work through it with all the concerned parties; that's what we do," Creedon said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Coolidge City Council refines process to gain historic rehab grant funds

[Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- On July 24, the Coolidge City Council authorized Finance Director Lisa Pannella to sign a form revising the application cover sheet sent to the Arizona Department of Housing asking to change the city's downtown rehabilitation program budget. Last year the city received a $134,840 grant received last year through the Community Development Block Grant program to "rehabilitate" facades of businesses in the Main Street historic district between Central and Coolidge avenues, but the budget as proposed by the city did not have a specific line item for hiring an architect, instead having a $22,140 line item for "in-house rehabilitation services."

City Grants Coordinator Jill Dusenberry told the council that the state's historic preservation officer, James Garrison, had encouraged the city to hire an architect experienced in doing historic rehabilitations, and she needed $18,942 to meet the winning bid. That amount was transferred from other areas of the budget, including $1,940.67 from the $2,000 designated for performing an environmental review. Dusenberry told a surprised Councilman Gilbert Lopez that she had personally done the work on the environmental review, so the only cost had been $59.33 for purchasing specialized publications.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Late-period Hohokam site explored near Queen Creek

[Source: Srianthi Perera, Arizona Republic] -- For three years, experts have quietly excavated the remains of dozens of Hohokams in Queen Creek in what could be one of the latest settlements of the mysterious desert dwellers ever identified. Archaeologists have done exploratory work in the Power Ranch area since the 1930s, but recent dating has put the Germann site complex, as it's known, toward the end of a rarely explored Hohokam era, preliminarily dated between 1400 and 1450. Hohokams are believed to have inhabited the Sonoran Desert between 500 and 1450 before they abruptly disappeared.

Toward the end of its existence, the society appeared to break down, with the economy and culture falling apart as the population dwindled, according to experts. The Hohokam had used up natural resources, such as firewood and plants, and had exhausted prime farming soil. But while scholars believe that after 1350 or so, the population of Hohokam declined, "we seem to have a pretty thriving location" in Queen Creek, said Banks Leonard, senior project director for Soil Systems Inc., a Phoenix archaeology company. "Nonetheless, it was abandoned, too, eventually." Leonard said the Hohokam way of life "had a negative impact on the environment," even though they appeared to be in touch with the land. "It may be one of the latest Hohokam settlements that have been identified," Leonard said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, July 21, 2006

Bisbee begins review of preservation, growth

[Source: Karen Weil, Sierra Vista Herald/Review] -- Roger Schluntz, dean of University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture, visited this town 23 years ago. On Thursday, he observed it hasn’t changed much. That brought applause from more than a few attendees during the first day of the Public Planning Charrette. A four-day event, the charrette is being held to address emerging challenges of regulating the city’s coming growth, while protecting its historic buildings. A full house was in attendance at the Presbyterian Church Annex for the reception, where charrette board members introduced themselves. One of them was the UNM dean. “If we do our jobs right, we’re going to help you better understand what your options are for the future,” Schluntz said.

James Garrison, state Historic Preservation officer, told attendees preservation in some ways falls to those closest to the community. And “we can share a long-term commitment to the care of the community,” he added. Tombstone, he said, is a National Historic Landmark, as is the Phelps Dodge office. Bob Frankeberg, an architectural organizer, said Bisbee will change, but locals can manage that through zoning and design guidelines. Eric Vondy, preservation incentive program coordinator for state preservation office, said some have a vested interest in seeing Bisbee “not get screwed up” by unrestricted growth. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No decision has been made on old Kingman hospital’s fate

[Source: Lorin McLain, Kingman Miner] -- The uncertain future of the old hospital on Andy Devine has some city officials worried that the whole thing may be destroyed. City Planner Bill Shilling said that amidst rumors that the county was considering demolishing the building, the chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission sent a letter to the County Board of Supervisors expressing concern about preserving historic character of the front façade of the building. "We know the building has got to come down - it's a huge safety issue. But the only concern is, we hate to lose the whole thing without an attempt at some preservation of that front part," Shilling said.

Mohave County Public Information Director Darryle Purcell said the Kingman Fire Department approached the county about addressing the safety issues related to the abandoned building. "They city fire department inspected it and requested us to remove some flammable materials," Purcell said, adding that the county did remove materials and boarded up portions of the building, yet no decisions have been made on what to do with it. "They're still talking about some options. I assume it would be going to the Board of Supervisors before anything was done about it," he said. "It's just a topic of what are we going to do. Right now, it's a matter of putting Band-Aids on it so nobody gets hurt."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A grand award for a lifetime of good work -- archaeologist Lyle Stone

[Source: Nancy Valentine, Green Valley News & Sun] -- Lyle Stone reverently pulled large volumes of archaeological research surveys from the shelf in his Tubac office as if they were diaries. Each one detailed significant findings he had been instrumental in helping bring to light - a lifetime of what he said he had always hoped would be regarded simply as “good work.” Recently, Stone’s hope was confirmed in a grand way. In recognition for his lifetime of pioneering contributions and for a distinguished record in promoting, preserving and studying Arizona’s irreplaceable historical and archaeological resources, Stone was honored by his peers at the 2006 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards ceremony. He came home with another memento to add to his shelf -- The Grand Award.

“I was overwhelmed,” Stone said with his understated way. Admittedly not one to easily talk about his accomplishments, Stone acknowledged it felt good to know there was “respect out there” among his peers for the work he has done. As he carefully closed one volume and returned it to its place on the shelf, it appeared for a moment that the magnitude of his accomplishments was lost in a rush of personalized memories of the loving efforts that filled the pages. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Gold dome at ASU could be razed

[Source: Katie Nelson, Arizona Republic] -- The gold-color dome that is the old Valley National Bank's roof was supposed to signify stability that would stay steady well into the future. Instead, Arizona State University is making plans that could tear down the old bank building. Preservationists are waging a fight to save the building, but it may be a fight they can't win despite complaints and concerns registered with the city and the university. ASU officials are moving toward razing the dome to make way for the university's new Barrett Honors College. The space is essential, according to Terri Shafer, a university spokeswoman. "We don't have many options," Shafer said. "This is a fully built campus surrounded by a community. By building this additional residential facility, the plan is that students can live on campus and take up fewer single-family homes in the area, which has been a big issue."

The domed building at Apache Boulevard and Rural Road now acts as ASU's Visitor Information Center. It also houses a handful of ASU organizations and about two-dozen employees. People primarily come there looking for campus directions. ASU's plans envision building room for about 1,700 beds, classrooms, administrative offices, a dining hall and activity spaces. Pending approvals, the time line for completion is 2009. No final decisions have been made, according to ASU officials. Even so, historical preservationists are upset the university is even considering doing away with the building. "I'm very disappointed," said Bob Gasser, chairman of the Tempe Historic Preservation Commission. "To me it's a highly prominent building. We need places like that so they are there for a future so they can in turn relate to our past."

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Art's role in Tucson historic preservation

[Source: Danielle Sottosanti, Arizona Daily Star] -- Foothills artist Carol Davisson Culbertson captures more than images in her painting. The preserves a little bit of Tucson's history on each canvas and has even played a role in the Rio Nuevo Downtown redevelopment project. "I do it all to restore the Hispanic heritage," she said. Culbertson has spent much of the last few decades trying to preserve, and in some cases restore, Tucson's past. She was an original member of the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation, an organization founded in 1984 by prominent local architect Lewis Hall. Until Hall's death in 1998, one of his dreams had been to reconstruct the Royal Presidio de San Agustín de Tucson — the walled fortress that once stood in what is now Downtown Tucson.

In 1999, one year after Hall's death, voters approved the Rio Nuevo project, which includes partially rebuilding the Presidio's northeast tower. Although most people don't realize it, Culbertson's art played a role in the approval of this reconstruction. The Tucson Presidio Trust wanted to show Downtown residents the City Council what Downtown would look like if the Presidio was reconstructed. Culbertson painted the corner of North Church Avenue and West Washington Street, where part of the original Presidio once stood, and depicted the outline of the wall and tower in scale with the existing buildings. This painting circulated around Tucson and is an example of how art can affect society, and vice versa.

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

Friday, July 07, 2006

Apply for historic preservation grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Places where history was made have a special power to connect people to the past and to impress upon us the deeper lessons of our history. The National Endowment for the Humanities invites proposals for public programs that exploit the evocative power of historic places to address themes and issues central to American history.

Are you preserving an historic place? If so, you might also want to think about exhibits, interpretive materials, heritage tourism partnerships, or other strategies for helping the public to learn more about your historic place, and the people, stories, events, and ideas that make it a significant part of American history. “Interpreting America’s Historic Places” grants support public humanities programs that use one or more historic sites to interpret important topics in American history. Projects can interpret a single historic site, a series of sites, whole neighborhoods, communities or towns, or larger geographic regions.

September 12, 2006, is the deadline for proposals for both Consultation Grants and Planning Grants for Interpreting America’s Historic Places. January 23, 2007, is the deadline for proposals for Implementation Grants. For guidelines and further information about “Interpreting America’s Historic Places” grants, click here. To speak with a program officer about a proposal, call 202-606-8269 or send an e-mail.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

City of Tucson may take lead in saving church

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- A corner falling off the adobe Marist College building next to St. Augustine Cathedral last summer could spur a revitalization project for the vacant 1916 structure. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson is willing to turn the building over to the city if the city will restore the white French neoclassic structure, now draped with a blue tarp, across from the Tucson Convention Center.

A possible city commitment hinges on results of a building-condition-assessment report to begin this month. An answer should be ready by the end of September, said Albert Elias, director of the city's urban planning and design department. "I think the building is significant," said Elias, whose department includes the Tucson Historic Preservation Office. "It's one of the few multistory adobe buildings anywhere, not just Tucson."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Gary Gaynor, Tucson Citizen]

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

1930s Tucson apartment building, tenants' morale due for boost

[Source: Larry Copenhaver, Tucson Citizen] -- John Cashin, 52, plans to plant a flower garden in the tiny dirt plot outside his home run by the Primavera Foundation at the once famed intersection known as The Gateway to Tucson. But that won't happen for a while. The exterior of his home, and the other 11 apartments in the historic Alamo Apartments, 738 S. Sixth Ave., will be renovated this fall thanks to a $98,600 Heritage Fund grant awarded by Arizona State Parks, plus $60,000 in grants from the federal Community Development Block Grant and NeighborWorks@America.

The Heritage Fund, created in 1990, allows the Arizona State Parks Department, as well as the Arizona Game & Fish Department, to distribute funds derived from lottery money for local and regional parks, wilderness trail development, historic preservation and other projects. The Alamo project addresses health and safety issues, building stabilization and aesthetics, said Denise Taub, property director for Primavera. That includes replacing rickety wooden fire escapes with steel structures, fixing cracks in the brick support walls and repairing the stucco exterior.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Norma Jean Gargasz, Tucson Citizen]

Monday, July 03, 2006

Springerville's Madonna of the Trail restored

[Source: Donna Reiner] -- The Madonna of the Trail statute (memorial) in Springerville was recently refurbished and restored. The State Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) raised the money. The Arizona DAR monument was dedicated in 1928 and is one of 12 erected on the National Old Trails Ocean to Ocean Highway (Washington D.C. to Los Angeles). DAR plans to have some ceremony in the spring of 2007. Click here for some basic history.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Catlin Court a nice fit in Glendale

[Source: Arizona Republic editorial] -- Glendale is a young city in a young state. Arizona officially entered the union in 1912, and although Glendale sets its birthday at Feb. 27, 1892, the city really started to take shape only after World War II and the advent of air-conditioning and subdivisions. But anyone who visits downtown Glendale can get a feel for the city's early years. Strolling through the Catlin Court Historic District is like strolling backward in time. The circa-1920s neighborhood brims with shaded sidewalks, charming bungalows and an eclectic mix of locally owned shops and restaurants. It's little wonder that the area is a popular destination for residents and tourists. And Glendale city officials sponsor numerous festivals in and around downtown and Catlin Court throughout the year.

Members of the Catlin Court Historic District Association have worked hard to keep the neighborhood's historic appeal. Their efforts brought them recognition with a Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award at the fourth-annual Arizona Statewide Historic Preservation Conference. Eric Vondy, preservations incentives program coordinator for Arizona State Historic Preservation Office and moderator of this year's competition, describes the award as the "Oscars of historic preservation." It's a well-deserved accolade.

Association members volunteer their time to help preserve the historic character of the neighborhood. That often means spending weekends doing cleanups and helping neighborhood residents apply for grants for improving their properties. The association's dedication to Catlin Court has made the neighborhood the success it is today. That, in turn, ties into the relative success of downtown Glendale. Catlin Court is the perfect companion to the downtown antiques district. It's a living, breathing antique, a chance for people to get a glimpse of an Arizona that has since been swallowed up by countless strip malls and master-planned communities.