Saturday, October 28, 2006

Resuscitating Phoenix's Woodland district

[Source: Sue Doerfler, Arizona Republic] -- When Bertha Winfield first saw the house, its windows were boarded up and its walls were covered in graffiti. But Winfield thought it had potential. By the time she moved in nine years ago, the 1910 home, in the Woodland Historic District in downtown Phoenix, had been fixed up through a Phoenix affordable home program. It had been freshly painted and its wood floors refinished. It sported new windows, kitchen cabinets and appliances.

Winfield's 1,200-square-foot home [was] one of six historic and new buildings on the Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future Street Fair and Home Tour in Woodland. The tour [was] sponsored by the Capitol Mall Association, which has worked with city and state offices, community leaders, and others to help rebuild the neighborhood. Kay Jerin, the association's program director, want[ed] tourgoers to witness the changes in the 180-home district, bounded by Van Buren Street and the alley north of Adams Street, Seventh and 16th avenues. It is within the Capitol Mall area, which extends south to Harrison Street and west to 19th Avenue. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of Winfield residence by Sherrie Buzby, Arizona Republic.]

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hohokam remnants found at Peoria's Terramar Park

[Source: Julie Anne Conolly, Independent Newspapers] -- After several years, many community meetings and several frustrations, the Terramar Community is finally getting a park by December 2, if all goes as planned. In 2000, the city started a master plan for a 23-acre park at 73rd and Giles drives. Six months into the project, city officials discovered the site was protected by the Army Corps of Engineers as a cultural resource, according to Peoria’s Park Director Kirk Haines. Remnants of a Hohokam Native American community, dating from the first century, were found on the site, and city officials decided to preserve the cultural site.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of contractor Scott Henderson and Peoria’s construction manager Bill Beaudoin by Julie Anne Conolly.]

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Latino areas may join Phoenix historic register

[Source: Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor, Arizona Republic] -- A Phoenix historic survey has identified two-dozen areas that embody the essence of Hispanic culture and history. A Hispanic Historic Property Survey has recommended churches, cemeteries, businesses and homes of notable Hispanics be added to the city's list of historic places. Another 20 properties included in the study are listed on a register of historic places.

City historic preservation officials are expected to evaluate the recommendations and move forward with listing properties on the Phoenix Historic Property Register, said Barbara Stocklin, the city's Historic Preservation Officer. She said those additions are likely to occur later this year through early 2007. [Note: To read the full article, including the full survey list, click here. Photo of St. Anthony's Church by Liturgical Environs.]

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Downtown Phoenix yields a rare archaeological find

[Source: Angela Cara Pancrazio, Arizona Republic] -- Streams of sweat rolled down Mark Hackbarth's face. The archaeologist and his crew dug with shovels and hand trowels. Nearby, bulldozers rumbled under the hot summer sun on another corner of the downtown construction site for the new Phoenix Convention Center. Because of tight construction schedules, Hackbarth had 30 days to excavate the remains of a prehistoric Hohokam village that had been preserved under the old Phoenix Civic Plaza. When Hackbarth was called to the site at the end of July, he expected to find Hohokam ruins. But even after 20 years of archaeological work in the Valley, he never imagined the immensity of what he found.

Hackbarth uncovered three of the earliest known pithouses in the Phoenix metropolitan area, houses that were 3,000 years old. And as he dug, he kept finding more traces of the ancient civilization. Today, thousands of artifacts from the dig rest in a Tempe laboratory as Hackbarth analyzes one of the Valley's greatest archaeological finds. With downtown Phoenix engrossed in its biggest burst of construction since World War II, the discovery in its heart is a reminder of how far back the area's history goes. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of Phoenix Convention Center excavation by Angela Cara Pancrazio, Arizona Republic.]

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Phoenix Village Planning Commitee rejects extension to historic overlay

[Source: Rebecca I. Allen, Arizona Republic] -- A City Council-appointed panel has sided with property owners, recommending against a historic district expansion that council members initiated. On a 10-2 vote, the Encanto Village Planning Committee denied the expansion that would add 12 properties on the north side of McDowell Road between 11th and 15th avenues to the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District.

The City Council's initiation of the expansion has come under fire. Although City Council does have the authority, normally the Historic Preservation Commission does the initiating with a two-thirds majority of owners on board. In this case, none of the 12 property owners was involved and when they were informed, after the City Council began the process, they opposed the historic overlay zoning.

The owners said the City Council is trying to take away their property rights and decrease property values. Historic preservation advocates say the intent is to align the city's boundary of the historic district with that of the National Register of Historic Places. They believe the zoning change would increase value of homes in the neighborhood. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]