Thursday, August 31, 2006

Florence Main Street achievements recognized

[Source: Florence Reminder] -- Florence was recognized with three Arizona Main Street awards during the Governor's Rural Development Conference recently in Flagstaff. The awards honor people and projects that help revitalize downtowns in rural Arizona. Florence is one of 17 Arizona communities that use the Main Street Approach developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a comprehensive strategy to improve the social and economic vitality of central commercial districts.

  • Euros Café was a finalist in the Best Economic Restructuring Story category. Nominees in this category represent projects or activities that identify new market opportunities that enhance business in the Main Street district. Jeff and Gulcan Lopez were recognized for the improvements they made to meet customer demand at Euros Café and the adjacent European Treasures.
  • Artie's on Main was a finalist in the Best Renovation Project category for the interior renovation of the historic La Paloma Bar. Owner Artie Meyers took six months to complete the project which addressed code compliance and ADA accessibility issues.
  • The 2005 Christmas on Main Street event was a finalist in the Best Special Event category. The Florence Main Street Program and Florence Parks and Recreation Department established a partnership that resulted in expanding event activities over the last two years.

Huachuca City Council accepts donation of historic Camp Newell

[Source: Rebecca Orozco, Cochise College] -- The Huachuca City Council voted on August 30 in special session to accept the donation of historic Camp Newell from Vision Quest. They plan to move ahead immediately with work to preserve the site. In May, four buildings comprising the junior officers’ quarters at the camp were severely damaged by fire.

For more information about Camp Newell, contact Rebecca Orozco, Director, Center for Southwest Studies, Cochise College, 520-417-4772.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Key Rio Nuevo project in Tucson finally taking shape

[Source: Teresa Jun, KOLD News 13] -- After years of delays, Rio Nuevo's centerpiece project is finally starting to take shape. "Tucson Origins" would include a cultural plaza, museums, and a re-creation of the original early 1800's San Agustin Mission. It would be built on Tucson's west side, near Grande and West Congress, west of Interstate 10, at the base of "A" Mountain, considered the birthplace of Tucson. Planners unveiled the concept designs to the public last week. Residents say it's been a long time coming. "We've been watching this for 15 years or so, since it first became an idea," said Norma Niblett, a Tucson resident. "I think it's going to be a good project, because of the fact that it's going to add a cultural element to the city of tucson," said Paolo Dilorenzo, also a Tucson resident.

But some are skeptical the project will survive, after so many Rio Nuevo promises in the past have not. Planners assure, this time is different. "There really wasn't funding associated with them and that's the key difference, is Rio Nuevo has provided the funding for this project to happen," said Marty McCune, historic preservation officer with the city of Tucson. By October, planners want to finalize the concept design. By 2007, they expect to start construction. And 2009 is the target date for this site to be complete, and open to the public.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Capitol Mall Association to hold September 14 ribbon-cutting for infill housing project

Phoenix's Capitol Mall Association invites you to celebrate the grand opening of the Monroe Street Bungalows. This project has been in the works for over six years. Participating in the ribbon-cutting will be Mayor Phil Gordon, CMA board members, homeowners, and partners. RSVP by e-mail or by calling 602-340-0745.
  • Date: Thursday, September 14, 2006
  • Time: 9 a.m. — 10:30 a.m.
  • Place: 12th Ave. and Monroe

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sedona Main Street Program award winners lauded

[Source:] -- The 2006 Arizona Main Street Awards presentation was held at the NAU DuBois Center in Flagstaff, with nearly 605 attending the Governor's Rural Development Conference on August 18. It was a special day with Governor Janet Napolitano addressing all attendees prior to the Award Presentation during the Governor's Luncheon. The statewide winners were announced by Jim McPherson of the Arizona Preservation Foundation. The awards were presented by Gilbert Jimenez, Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, and Robin Sewell, host of Arizona Highways television program.

Sedona Main Street Program is proud and honored to announce the nine statewide finalists and five statewide winners from the projects, people, and events nominated from within its District. They are all phenomenal examples and models for Arizona communities of the dedication, passion, and investment that make our community and Program great.

[Note: To read the full article and list of Sedona nominees, click here. Photo of Gil Jimenez (ADOC), Wendy Lippman (
Tlaquepaque Arts & Craft Village), Michael Rabasca (architect), and Robin Sewell (Arizona Highways television).]

Florence may get title to cemeteries

[Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, Inc.] -- Town of Florence personnel are researching the possibility of obtaining title to the Butte Views and Ancient Order of United Workmen cemeteries located on Adamsville Road. If successful, plans are to clean them up and maintain them. Town Grants Coordinator Ken Lawrence met with State Historic Preservation Officer Jim Garrison and historic preservation planner Bonnie Bariola last week for suggestions on accomplishing these plans.

The suggestion was to construct a passive park in the portion of land not containing graves. Suggestions were made that it could become a butterfly garden, a meditation garden or a xeriscape demonstration garden with benches or seating. Another possibility would be to include an information kiosk detailing the history of many of the early residents of the town who were buried in the cemeteries. The mesquite bosque on the site would provide a special natural setting for this endeavor. These mature trees would provide immediate shade for the garden-park setting. Garrison said SHPO is compiling a list of all historic cemeteries in the state, and these two cemeteries can be included in the list.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Casa Grande recognizes winners of awards for downtown work

[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- First-place and finalist awards for outstanding Main Street projects were handed out at the beginning of Monday night's City Council meeting. Three other projects were nominated but didn't make the cut during the statewide Main Street cities competition. "This is the time of year that's really exciting for us because we get awarded for a lot of the projects that have happened in the Main Street district," Executive Director Marge Jantz told the council.

"Each year we get to compete with 15 other Arizona Main Street candidates. This year we submitted nine nominations. We received six awards; three were first place and three were finalists. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Monday, August 21, 2006

Heritage Park plan opinions sought in Tucson

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- Tucsonans on Wednesday evening can get their first sight of what will be built at Tucson Origins Heritage Park. Yes, what will be built, not might be built, or what Rio Nuevo hopes to build. "This is the reality of it," said Marty McCune, the city's historic preservation officer. "This isn't planning anymore. We are in project design." The downtown architecture firm Burns Wald-Hopkins intends to have complete conceptual design and cost estimates ready by November for the City Council. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2007. Burns Wald-Hopkins' preliminary site concepts will be on display from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center's Mohave Room, 260 S. Church Ave. They will show where the Mission San Agustín and Mission Gardens will sit in relation to the Arizona Historical Society and Arizona State Museum, as well as how plazas and parking will fit into the 20-acre project at the foot of "A" Mountain.

Two earlier master plans addressed either the museums or the mission, but not both together. "This is the new-generation design," architect David Wald-Hopkins said. "This integrates the two." The architectural team will be at the open house, as will the interpretive team - those responsible for getting the history right. "The whole point is interpreting what happened on that site over the last 4,000 years or maybe as far back as 12,000 years," McCune said. Open house visitors will be encouraged to fill out comment cards on what they think about the preliminary notions for the origins park.

[Aerial view of excavations at the San Agustín Mission site at the base of A-Mountain. Source: Adriel Heisly, Desert Archaeology.]

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Teresa Brice appointed Director of Phoenix LISC

[Source: Austin E. Penny, Jr., Program Vice President, LISC] -- Teresa Brice has been appointed Director of Phoenix LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). Teresa is a native of Mesa, Arizona and a respected professional in the nonprofit community in the Phoenix metropolitan area. She began her commitment to community advocacy over 25 year ago as an attorney for Community Legal Services assisting neighborhood groups in the Phoenix area to apply for CDBG funds for grassroots projects. It was through her efforts to assist these groups that, in 1988, she became the co-founder of Housing For Mesa, Inc., an affordable housing development corporation and the first of its kind in the city. Over the next seventeen years, she served as Executive Director, member of the Board and Senior Vice President for Housing For Mesa. In her latter capacity she was responsible for program, board and resource development for the organization's offices in Arizona and Nevada, as well as, grant writing, contract compliance , program evaluation, property disposition, housing policy, and advocacy.

In 1988, Teresa also help establish the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens, a Latino advocacy organization, also the first of its kind in Mesa. In 1998 Teresa was successful in organizing a grassroots campaign to help pass a sales tax to increase funds for Mesa's new Arts Center, and also organized an ad hoc citizens group to participate in the revision of Mesa's General Plan in keeping with Arizona's Growing Smarter legislation. Teresa has been active in shaping public policy on many level in Arizona. She was a member of the Task Force to create Mesa's first General Plan; served on the Regional Workforce Housing Task Force for Mariposa County; a member of the Arizona State Housing Commission; member of the Steering Committee for the Community Development Coalition of Arizona, and member of the national advisory boards of the Enterprise Foundation and JP Morgan Chase bank.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Phoenix City Council move to expand historic overlay 'unusual'

[Source: Rebecca I. Allen, Arizona Republic] -- In a move residents and city staff call "highly unusual," the Phoenix City Council initiated a historic overlay expansion in a central Phoenix neighborhood without the property owners' involvement. Some owners believe the City Council's action constitutes an end run around the public process, which could take away their property rights and decrease property values. Historic preservation advocates living in the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District say the intent is to line up the city's boundary of the historic district with that of the National Register of Historic Places and believe the overlay will increase the value of homes in the neighborhood.

Historic preservation overlay zoning recognizes properties as historically significant and worthy of preservation. The overlay does not change uses permitted by existing zoning, however, it limits alterations to existing buildings and requires new construction be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. At the heart of the issue is 33-unit apartment complex between 13th and 15th avenues just north of McDowell Road. Built in 1943, the two-bedroom units were for war workers. In recent times the apartments have suffered blight and are what some neighbors, city staff and Phoenix police personnel term crime ridden, with frequent drug, prostitution and assault arrests. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Scottsdale moves for third historic area

[Source: Lindsay Butler, East Valley Tribune] -- Scottsdale has taken another step to freeze a moment in the city’s history. As part of its goal to preserve post-World War II neighborhoods, the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Commission has started a process to designate what would be the city’s third historic neighborhood. If approved, Scottsdale Estates 4, near Oak and 74th streets, would join Town and Country Scottsdale and Village Grove, two other historic neighborhoods built in the 1950s in south Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Estates 4 was designed by John Hall with Hallcraft Homes, a prolific designer who left his mark in the area, said Debbie Abele, Scottsdale historic preservation officer. Like many Scottsdale neighborhoods, the homes feature ranch-style architecture. But Scottsdale Estates is one of the few with brick facades, and at the time, they were a bit more expensive than other homes around them, Abele said. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of "Cowboy Ranch" style home courtesy of Don Meserve, City of Scottsdale.]

Saturday, August 12, 2006

New Archaeology for the Public website created

[Source: Ann Howard, Arizona State Parks] -- The Society for American Archaeology and the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office has announced the posting of the new Archaeology for the Public website, a useful resource for your next outreach activity, public session, archaeology month event, and college course! To learn more...

Spread the word through your professional and personal email networks; in local, regional, and avocational newsletters; and to your students, clients, family, and colleagues. This website is designed for members of the public who want to know more about archaeology as well as for archaeologists, educators, and interpreters who share archaeology with the public.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Phoenix Hispanic property survey to be presented

Results of a Phoenix Hispanic Property Survey Report will be presented from 6 to 7 p.m. at three public meetings. The meetings will be:

  • Aug. 14 at the Emmett McLoughlin Community Training and Education Center, 1150 S. Seventh Ave. in the Henson Village Redevelopment area.
  • Aug. 24 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Hall, 909 E. Washington St.
  • Aug. 31 at the Phoenix College Dome Auditorium, 3310 N. 10th Ave.

The Athenaeum Public History Group, a team of scholars and local Hispanic community members, will present its research on potential historic properties and offer recommendations on the places the city should preserve. For information, call Kevin Weight, lead historic preservation planner, at 602-495-7610.

National Trust Western Office publishes August/September newsletter

The Western Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to share with you the August/September edition of its newsletter. To access the newsletter, click here. For those of you who may have missed some issues, links to all the past editions are provided by clicking here, going to the drop down menu on the right side of the page for the newsletter archive, and selecting an issue of the newsletter according to the date it was issued.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Arlington, VA hosts National Impact Fee Roundtable, October 4-6

This year's conference of the National Impact Fee Roundtable (NIFR) will be held in Arlington, VA, October 4-6, 2006. This conference is a must for anyone involved in the design or implementation of development impact fees. Over 50 practitioners and experts from around the country will participate. Professor Tony Cook, from Sheffield University, UK, will give the keynote address, providing important cross-Atlantic views about impact fees. Visit the NIFR website for more information and registration. You also may register by clicking here. If you have any questions, feel free to call Tyson Smith, the NIFR chairman, at any time, at 816- 221-8700.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

U.S. Congress passes easement reform legislation

[Source: Paul Edmonson, National Trust Vice President & General Counsel] -- Many organizations and individuals involved in historic preservation have closely followed the increased public attention recently focused on the subject of preservation and conservation easements, particularly in the news media and in Congress. Those interested in this subject should be aware that significant legislative changes to address abuses in the area of façade easement donations were recently passed by Congress as part of an omnibus pension reform bill, H.R. 4. The bill, which includes a number of reforms in the charitable sector-as well as several enhancements to charitable giving incentives-was passed by the United States House of Representatives on July 28, 2006, and by the United States Senate on August 3, 2006. The bill is expected to be quickly signed into law by the President.

These changes constitute the first major reforms in the law relating to tax deductions for historic preservation easements in twenty-five years, and, generally, they should be welcomed by the preservation community. Many of the changes are logical reforms to address questionable practices by some easement holding organizations and promoters, as highlighted in recent years by Congress, the IRS, and the news media. For example, sections 1213 and 1219 of H.R. 4 would:

  • Disallow deductions for façade easements that don't protect the entire exterior of a property;
  • Prohibit easements that allow changes incompatible with a building's historic character;
  • Require donor and donee to certify under perjury that the easement-holding organization is qualified to accept easements, and has the resources and commitment to manage and enforce the easement;
  • Require the owner to provide the IRS more detailed substantiation to prove the value of the donation;
  • Impose a new filing fee of $500 for easement deductions over $10,000;
  • Increase overvaluation penalties for donors and impose new overvaluation penalties for appraisers; and
  • Impose new qualification standards for appraisals and appraisers.

At the same time, H.R. 4 also includes several provisions that appear less logical or warranted, for example eliminating deductions for non-building structures or land areas in registered historic districts, and imposing a new reduction for easements on structures that have also qualified for the rehabilitation tax credit. All in all, however, the changes included in H.R. 4 should help to encourage higher standards of practice for easement holding organizations, easement promoters, and appraisers. Equally important, by reforming the law providing tax incentives for historic preservation easements-and rejecting an earlier congressional recommendation to substantially reduce or eliminate the deduction-Congress has soundly affirmed the validity of preservation easements and the federal tax incentives that encourage them. Indeed, H.R. 4 even includes a provision, section 1206, that actually expands the availability of the deduction for easements donated in 2006 and 2007, by increasing the amount available for deduction for most taxpayers in any given year (to 50 percent of adjusted gross income, versus 30 percent at present), and extending the carry-over period for deductions from five to fifteen years.

  • The principal revisions included in H.R. 4 are summarized in detail here.
  • Excerpted sections 1213 and 1219 from H.R. 4, as described above are here.
  • Excerpted section 1206 of H.R. 4 (increasing deduction availability for 2006 and 2007) is available here.
  • A redlined compilation of the Internal Revenue Code showing these changes is available here.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Rural tourism development grant program guidelines for FY 2007

The Arizona Office of Tourism's Rural Tourism Development Grant Program guidelines for fiscal year 2007 are now available. The primary objective of the competitive grant program is to provide coordinated funding for tourism related infrastructure projects. The funding amount for FY 07 is $697,000. AOT has added $197,000 of unallocated TEAM grant funds. These funds assist rural economic development through tourism to strengthen the regional and local economies and expand tourism in rural and Tribal communities throughout Arizona. The primary function of the infrastructure project must be tourism development and the project must be designed to initiate economic growth and enhance future tourism development. Applications are available on AOT’s business-to-business website under the Grants section. Applications must be postmarked and/or hand-delivered to the Arizona Office of Tourism no later than 3 p.m. Friday, August, 18, 2006.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Investors, business owners seek downtown renovation in Coolidge

[Source: Preston McConkie, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- A trio of investors and owners of three established downtown businesses are steaming full ahead with plans that are transforming the look of Coolidge Avenue, though their enthusiasm has been slightly blunted by the first encounter with the slow machine of government and may be brought to a screeching halt by a city advisory committee. Phil Lingelbach and his wife, Linda Henderson, along with their partner Claudine Solansky, have purchased six buildings in the 200 block of the decayed avenue and are negotiating to buy three more. One building has already been renovated and sold.

Lingelbach said he has discovered Coolidge and believes it is time for its downtown to rise again. A little over a year ago he and Henderson bought the Sage & Sand Bar but soon shut it down and sold it at a healthy profit to a commercial developer who is replacing it with a retail center. "There just needed to be something else there," Lingelbach said. With the proceeds from that and other ventures, he next turned his sights on what was once a flourishing business sector where people came to shop for clothes, buy pastries, and play pool.

Lingelbach enlisted the aid of Economic Development Director Alton Bruce and Senior Building Inspector James Myers and toured the 200 block of Coolidge Avenue, with a particular interest in a green two-story building that had possibilities to be both a business and an apartment. Advised that the building had structural problems, Lingelbach instead purchased a small building next to the Main Street Park and began renovating it "as a place for us to come stay in town." The former bar owner said, "Right now there's no place to just come and sit - other than the bars."

Inside the building at 225 W. Coolidge Ave. he put in new drywall, a new ceiling and carpet and hung ceiling fan lights. Outside, he knocked out the old front that came right to the sidewalk and built a recessed area with home-style windows with blinds, put in an etched-glass door and bolted a steel-framed wooden bench to the walk. For a week Lingelbach was able to sit there and contemplate his plans for the rest of the avenue. Now he has sold the building to an occupant, and he must stand across the street while he watches the four-buildings-in-one of the former Judy's Second Hand Store become...something.

He doesn't know what they will be, but he knows they'll be something nice because that's the way he's rebuilding them. While Josh Busard, junior city planner, prepares to form a committee that will meet with a consultant in October and begin hammering out a plan for revitalizing downtown, Lingelbach and company already have their own plan, complete with a new-old look for the so-called "historic district."

He and Coolidge Cleaners owner Jim Tyus, Heather Winters of AC Lighting & Design and Chris DiLorenzo of Cooltown Car Guyz have settled on the theme they want for their facades, based on the look of the one building Coolidge residents agree is both historic and attractive: McCray School on the northwest corner of Northern Avenue and Arizona Boulevard.

While the Coolidge Historic Preservation Commission wrangles about what to save and what Coolidge's historic look actually is, Lingelbach is using local workers to staple stucco mesh to four storefronts to create foam Doric columns. But Bruce worries that their enthusiasm and some of their investment could be at risk if their idea doesn't tickle the fancy of the HPC, which on Aug. 16 will meet for the first time in nearly a year to consider a project proposed for the downtown. The commission's only legal authority is to deny certificates of "historical appropriateness" to business owners in the historic district, which extends from Arizona Boulevard down to Main Street along Coolidge and Central avenues, and between those avenues on Main Street. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Historic designation possible for Chandler High School Old Main

[Source: Doug Carroll, Arizona Republic] -- A longtime effort to place Chandler High School on the National Register of Historic Places finally seems to be gaining traction. Old Main, the original building when the school opened 84 years ago, might receive such a designation within a year, said Terry Williams, the school's principal. "What a beautiful thing it would be," Williams said. "It would really preserve that building. The old Mesa High kind of looked like it, but it burned down. This school has been a hub of things in Chandler. It's always been a landmark."

Kevin Weight, a Chandler resident with experience in historic preservation, has been retained by the city to prepare Old Main's nomination for the National Register. Weight said the nomination should be completed by the end of September. A lengthy review process then will begin, starting at the state level. The National Park Service would have the final say, possibly sometime next year.

Old Main is believed to be the oldest high school building in Arizona still used for education. A $30 million renovation and expansion of the Chandler High campus, at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Blvd., was completed in 2005 and included a new career and technical education center, an Olympic-quality swimming pool and upgraded athletic facilities. The city's centennial in 2012 has been a factor in the National Register push. "It's one of the premier historic buildings in Chandler," Weight said. "This has been on the radar screen for a long time."

Over the past 20 years, Williams said, the effort "always seemed to hit a snag and then disappear." He said the process has turned up artifacts such as a $5 application, signed in 1916, to join what later would become the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Until 1998, Chandler High was the only public high school in the Chandler Unified S.D., which now has three and will open a fourth in 2007. The school is proud of its heritage, even putting "officially old school" on its marquee to welcome back students last week. Those willing to donate artifacts or memorabilia from the school for placement in the Chandler Historical Museum are asked to call Williams or Athletic Director Dave Shapiro at 480-812-7700.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Florence maintains accredited national Main Street Program

[Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- The efforts of the Florence Main Street Program over the past year has earned it recognition for commercial district revitalization by meeting standards for performance set by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center. The Florence Main Street Program joins 625 other Main Street revitalization programs nationally recognized as 2006 Accredited National Main Street Programs. "The National Accreditation mean the Main Street program is meeting our national standards of performance for what a Main Street program should be doing," said Doug Loescher, Director of the National Trust's Main Street Center. "The organizations we name each year as National Main Street programs are those that have demonstrated the skills needed to succeed in Main Street revitalization."

The annual accreditation process evaluates commercial district revitalization programs based on criteria ranging from having an active board of directors and paid professional manager to tracking economic progress and preserving historic Main Street buildings. "Rebuilding a district's economic health and maintaining that success requires broad-based community involvement, active support from both the public and private sectors, and sound management," said Loescher. "Having a solid organization at the foundation of that revitalization effort is so important to long term success." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tucson's Rialto block revival may start in October

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- A $2 million restoration of the downtown Rialto block will likely begin by October, with a restaurant possibly in place on the ground floor in about a year. Building owners Doug Biggers and Tom Powers have construction permits for facade work set to start in 30 to 45 days, Biggers said. The portion to be restored is just west of the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St.

The restored facade will reflect the original 1920s' look with large windows and marble below the windows. Above the storefronts, Biggers plans to restore transoms made with prismatic leaded glass, of which one original exists. The new facade would be finished in February, Biggers said. "The Hotel Congress is a pretty good future mirror (of the Rialto block)," Biggers said about the 1918-19 hotel across the street. "The present condition at best is dilapidated, a mass of different styles, storefronts, windows and doors. We're putting it back to the 1920s."

Biggers said their plans have approvals from the state's Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. Negotiations could wrap up in a couple weeks to commit a restaurant to about half the ground floor in the middle of the block on Congress. Biggers did not name the restaurateur but said the person has owned downtown restaurants. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Tucson Citizen]