Monday, May 28, 2007
It was his idea for the portal bracings above the roadway to diminish in size as they climbed, thereby creating the effect of heightening the bridge. The height of the towers over the water is a breathtaking 746 feet, and the length of the suspended structure is 6,450 feet. Over 80,000 miles of wire went into the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Morrow was also the driving force behind the bridge's striking color, international orange; he believed a warm color should be used to contrast with the cold tones of the surrounding land. The Golden Gate Bridge cost the community nearly $35 million during its five-year construction. Its name is derived from the body of water over which it spans, Golden Strait. The "gold" comes from the strait's location at the mouth of the North Bay, beyond which lies the gold of California. Other have mentioned that the Golden Gate Bridge is the Gateway to the Land of the Setting Sun, but they didn't mention this until nearly 30 years after the bridge was originally erected.
In a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the council learned that the grant is not a pass through and that the town would not receive any fees for sponsoring it. But the terms of the grant get worse from the perspective of the town and probably the property owners. To allow more time to digest the actual terms of the grant contract, the council decided to postpone action on the resolution until May 29 at 9 a.m. Mayor Bob Bouwman said the main reason for postponing action on the resolution is because of the changing commitments required of the town. "The town would have to be put on the property owners' deed for the next 30 years," Bouwman said. "The town has to agree to maintain the property if the property owners did not." Balt Lozano, town clerk, said the town must commit to maintaining the building for the 30-year term. "We must guarantee that the building will never be torn down," he said. Vice Mayor Jane Moore said there is just too much new information regarding the grant for the council to have proceeded Wednesday. "The grant writer isn't here," she said. At this time it isn't known how the council will react to accepting such financial liability for a grant given to private parties. Nor is it known if the property owners will be agreeable to having the town listed on their property deed. The Sullivan Hotel is an important historical building in Jerome because Jennie Bauters, a famous saloonkeeper and madam, built it in 1899.
According to Vivia Strang, historic preservation grant consultant to the state parks board, the grant is drawn from the state's lottery revenues, which support the state parks' Heritage Fund for wildlife conservation and historic preservation. "It's a competitive grant program, and a great deal of emphasis is placed upon project planning and the public benefit," said Strang. To be eligible, a project has to be more than 50 years old and either on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Strang said. No more than $150,000 can be awarded at one time, but applicants can request more funds for a later phase. Bell told Jewish News that AJHS received the highest rating of all applications for this funding cycle because of the quality of the application and the value and importance of the project to Arizona. "Right now, there is no Jewish site in downtown Phoenix. I think our site will do a great service for the community by providing a Jewish location in the heart of downtown and a place for people of all different backgrounds to come and visit and connect with our community. It will educate non-Jews about who we are and what we've done and how we've contributed to the state and to this country."
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo: Concept drawing of CutlerAPlotkin Jewish Heritage Center.]
The holdup, as usual, is money. The city this year will apply for $600,000 in Indian casino funds to help get the overdue project off the ground. The money would be used to build interpretive trails, signs, shade shelters and to pay for a study that would lead to an educational visitors center, said Tom Wilson, director of the Mesa Southwest Museum. The park enhancements would cost $5 million or more. When finished, it would be similar to the Pueblo Grande public recreation site in Phoenix. Mesa and museum officials hope to someday build an environmentally friendly 30,000-square-foot visitors center with exhibits on the Hohokam tribe, trails, parking and restrooms. The problem is, Mesa has applied for the casino money twice before and was rejected both times. This will be the city’s third attempt to secure the money to build a Mesa Grande park. It is one of 18 projects Mesa will pitch to Indian tribes for grant consideration, said Jerry Dillehay, the city’s grants coordinator. Altogether, the projects would cost $9.7 million to complete. Mesa Grande is one of the few surviving platform mounds in the Valley. It is larger than a football field. Between 1000 and 1450 A.D., it served as a place of religious significance for the Hohokam tribe, according to museum officials.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Lisa Olson, East Valley Tribune.]
Among those scheduled to attend the grand opening ceremony is Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva who will be the keynote speaker, State Historic Preservation Office for Arizona State Parks James Garrison, and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry among others. The Curley School was originally constructed in 1919 as a public school in Ajo. In 2003 the Pima County Board of Supervisors allocated $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for pre-development costs for converting the school into artisan lofts. In 2005 International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA), a non-profit agency, secured additional funding from numerous sources to complete the project that cost over $9 million. The Curley School appears on the national register of historic places and qualifies as affordable housing units where artists of all mediums are welcome. For more information on the school, contact the International Sonoran Desert Alliance at (520) 387-6823.
Friday, May 25, 2007
He's not the only person who feels this way. The National Park Service and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) have codified standards that dismiss reconstruction outright due primarily to issues of authenticity. If these internationally recognized agencies don't support the reconstruction of historic monuments, why should the city of Tucson? I am a dedicated preservationist and I do want to honor the Convento site in a way that is appropriate to interpret Tucson's pluralistic heritage. In this site's richly layered history, I'm also afraid that the story of the Convento's slow demise and ultimate demolition by a generation more concerned with city building than the preservation of our heritage will not be told, thus condemning future generations to repeat its action (e.g., Marist College and Tumamoc Hill). I don't believe you need to rebuild a full-scale model of a building to interpret and honor that history. In the same way that, thanks to the Vietnam Memorial, we don't need to build statuary monuments to honor the casualties of war. The architectural firm for the Convento project is more than capable of creating a contemporary landscape that honors, informs and interprets this complex site without reconstructing a building. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
On one such visit, she said museum staff said they were aware that they shouldn't technically be keeping the archives and asked if the archives should move once the new building was completed. They are currently discussing the potential move, Sturgeon said. If the archives move, Sturgeon said the State Library would be responsible for the transfer. She explained that when the state archives were first being put together in 1937, officials were horrified to find that permanent records were being disbursed and lost. At that time, the Legislature looked into how records should be used and stored to ensure they would be around for hundreds of years. It created a law whereby only the county where the documents originated and the State Library could authenticate the records. For years, the museum has stored the county archives. While they cannot authenticate the records, the museum has seen that they are stored in ideal conditions to protect them. Volunteers wear cloth gloves to protect papers from body oils. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Thursday, May 24, 2007
“It’s been tremendous,” said Jerry Howard, the curator of anthropology. “We’ve gone from what was a small, local museum before the (2000) expansion to a major museum. We’ve doubled our space.... As a result, our visitation has quadrupled.” The museum was the brainchild of the Mesa Historical and Archaeological Society, a group that wanted to create a space to honor Mesa’s history, Howard said. The city was excited by the prospect of a local museum and agreed to sponsor it. Over time, it acquired more of the city hall building as other departments left seeking larger quarters. Since its inception, it has undergone two expansions, including a $4.5 million addition in 2000. The museum was similar to others in neighboring cities, except for one thing — it always emphasized the importance of archaeology, which allowed it to evolve into a natural history research museum, said Robert McCord, the curator of paleontology. “Most cities have pure historical museums, and I think that was a little unusual,” he said. “In the early years, (archaeology) was our mission and that allowed us a certain flexibility. We had a drive to be bigger and try exhibits on a wide array of topics.” But what changed the museum’s focus to natural history was the addition of two popular exhibits.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Leigh Shelle Robertus, Tribune.]
Frankeberger said there is no language in Jerome's ordinance that tells how properties are identified and designated. "I don't know if you've been legal," he said. "Design review can be very subjective unless it has some ground rules," he said. He explained that the ground rules must be enforceable. "The design guidelines have to parallel the national and state programs." The basic process of using Design Review to follow the town's intentions for preservation come into play primarily through ruling on building permits and demolition permits. "That's about it," Frankeberger said. Vice Mayor Jane Moore said that Jerome's ordinance says the town uses the guidelines of the U.S. Secretary of Interior's standards. "Rather than design guidelines," Frankeberger said, "try to be more quantitative in ordinances." He said that concept is new in the design process and is called "Form Based Ordinances. It becomes a little bit more formal and more enforceable." Frankeberger told the audience that historical preservation involves four different treatments: restoration, rehabilitation, preservation and stabilization. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
- Arizona has been one of the fastest-growing states in the nation for more than 100 years. No one forecasts a reversal in that trend. Population growth will be a constant — how our state grows is up to us through public policies.
- The possibility of a better life is what has attracted new residents to the West since the wagons left St. Louis and will continue to drive population here, said University of Arizona economist Marshall Vest, director of the Economic and Business Research Center at the UA's Eller College of Management. A warm climate, few natural disasters, relatively inexpensive housing, job availability and low taxes draw new residents here. However, Arizona has a reputation as a state of "haves" and "have-nots," with a mediocre workforce, a troubled school system and a poor quality of life.
- The state has a high rate of population churn — people moving in and out of the state. It is difficult to develop sensible, sustainable public policy when a quarter of the population wasn't here five years ago, said Vest. Many newcomers don't know the history and culture of the community and may not be fully engaged or invested. However, that churn also means there are fresh ideas. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
[Source: Tom Beal, Daily Star] -- A $100 million Science Center with planetarium, Imax-style theater, permanent exhibits and space for traveling national exhibits would anchor the cultural plaza of Rio Nuevo under the latest plan sent to the Tucson City Council by City Manager Mike Hein on Thursday. The Science Center would share space with a $30 million Arizona State Museum of anthropology on the east side of the cultural plaza, along the banks of the Santa Cruz River south of West Congress Street. The city would foot the entire $130 million cost. On the west side of the cultural plaza the city would build:
- An $80 million Arizona History Museum, which would house historical exhibits, the offices of the Arizona Historical Society and an "e-library" with 100-150 computer terminals and some books and other materials. The city would contribute $50 million to those two programs.
- A $20 million Tucson Children's Museum, with the city footing half the cost.
Hein also asked the council to commit:
- $102 million for an arena, expansion of the Tucson Convention Center and a convention hotel.
- $170 million for parking, infrastructure and streetscape improvements Downtown.
The plan was given a unanimous and enthusiastic endorsement Thursday by members of the City Council's Rio Nuevo/Downtown Subcommittee, which includes council members Jose Ibarra, Steve Leal and Nina Trasoff. The full council will review the plan Tuesday. Leal said he was never sure he would be in his seat when Rio Nuevo's musical-chair game stopped. "I'm relieved," he said, "and I'm so excited." Ibarra said he had favored the grander plans for a Science Center but was happy that "we're finally going to bring the U of A to the neighborhood." Interesting the children of Tucson in math and science is the most important aspect of the plan, he said. "All of a sudden it's like it's all coming together," said Trasoff. She added that "it's important to note we're not committing every penny," after Rio Nuevo Director Greg Shelko told the council that about 9 percent of the total remained to be doled out. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a nomination form (Microsoft Word file) and submit one hard or digital copy on disk or via email of the completed form with all supporting materials to: Arizona Preservation Foundation, P.O. Box 13492, Phoenix, AZ 85002 or email@example.com. Completed nominations must be received electronically or postmarked by May 23, 2007. A separate application form must be submitted for each nominated property. Selections will be made based on their significance as determined by the Foundation.
To be considered for our 2007 list, there must be a degree of endangerment by owner neglect, proposed demolition, rezoning, redevelopment, or other human or environmental factors. Additionally, the property must be listed on or be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, our state historic register, or a local register. Visit the Endangered Places section to view the Foundation’s 2006 Most Endangered Historic Places list. [Photo: APF 2006 Endangered Property, Geronimo Station, Geronimo.]
Sunday, May 20, 2007
By the 1830s, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton proposed a program that would allow citizens to claim land from the public domain to develop farmland. By 1890, only about three percent of the lands west of the Mississippi had been given away under the act. This measure was far less effective in making vacant land productive than were liberal mining laws and grants to railroads. Nevertheless, it stands as a shining example of legislation that passed in the North while the South had seceded from the Union.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The Means team also studied the remains of presidio wall foundations. It learned that the Spanish used two methods to craft the 22-by-11-inch bricks. One had a brick made in a form on the ground, and then the brick was lifted into place; the other had the mud poured into a form in place on the wall. The adobe composition matched the 18th-century brick (except that cement was added to stabilize the adobe): 50 percent sand, 25 percent clay and the rest silt and straw. Tucson Adobe in Marana crafted the bricks, which re-create the whimsy of different colors used in the original walls. Beyond that, presidio proponents and designers had to draw on imagination because no records exist regarding what the presidio looked like. Artist Bill Singleton translated all that imagination into a 53-by-13-foot mural that gives a snapshot of presidio life. Means cut six embrasures (gun slots) at the top of the torreón walls. "We have no idea if they had embrasures or not," Means said. The torreón is 20 feet high. Means rebuilt the torreón a few feet east of the original tower, for which foundations for the 44-inch-thick walls still exist. Across a presidio entryway, Means built a 15-by-30-foot barracks that would have housed about a dozen soldiers. Boards are built into the wall to create little shelves. The ceiling is river hardwood with saguaro ribs, topped with 4 to 12 inches of mud. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Tuggle called the meeting so tribes could express concerns and he could clarify the eagle delisting process, which Fish and Wildlife first proposed in 1999. After Tuggle acknowledged that the delisting decision was beyond the scope of his regional office, tribal leaders increasingly questioned whether their comments would have any impact. Tuggle said the decision would be based entirely on scientific findings. Paul Schmidt, a Fish and Wildlife official from Washington, D.C., explained that the agency would protect bald eagles if they are delisted, but his comments stirred debate about why he wasn't specifically addressing Arizona's bald eagle population of 43 breeding pairs. The Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon have sued the government, making a case that Arizona's eagles are an endangered population segment apart from the 20,000 eagles in the rest of the country that appear to have recovered after being decimated by pesticides in the 1950s. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Of the more than a dozen varieties of apples that used to exist in the orchards, only six remain, Routson said. Varieties were lost by fire, or drought or other natural causes. Northern Arizona University, through the work of the Center for Sustainable Environments, has been attempting to help preserve the remaining historical apple trees. The importance of preserving apple varieties centers on disease, Routson said. For instance, if there is only one kind of apple available worldwide, and a disease that targets that specific apple tree kills all the trees, apples will cease to exist. The more varieties of apples, the less a chance of losing apples to time. Routson said that before the 1930s, there were more than 14,000 apple varieties available worldwide. Only about 10 percent of the apple varieties exist today. The reason for the reduction is finding a consistently good-tasting, hearty variety that would sell well at market, Routson said. No longer were apples sought for specialties _ like one apple for making cider, and another apple for making apple pie. At the park, the largest volume of trees _ about 200 of the 300 _ bear Red Delicious apples. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The possibility of litigation is having a chilling effect on historic preservation programs. “Everybody is afraid at this point,” said Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. “Anyone can sue over pretty much anything.” In order to avoid a lawsuit, many Valley cities are requiring property owners to sign forms waiving their right to compensation in the event the value goes down. For instance, Mesa now requires every homeowner in a neighborhood to sign a waiver to achieve historic designation, said Stephanie Bruning, historic preservation officer. “If 100 percent is not signed, staff will recommend denial,” she said. “It’s up to the City Council to make the final decision.” In the meantime, Bruning said she is trying to educate Mesa residents on the benefits of owning historic property. “It doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. It doesn’t freeze it in time,” she said. Some say the restrictions are far from flexible. “What I don’t agree with is the city is coming in and forcing everyone in the neighborhood to freeze the value of the property. They can no longer do what they want,” said state Sen. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa. “Who wants to buy that house knowing they can’t restore it? It dampens investments in the neighborhood.”
Other historic programs are trying to decide how many waivers should be required for designation. Phoenix is working on a policy that would require 80 percent of residents to be on board, said Kevin Weight, lead historic preservation planner in Phoenix. “Right before Proposition 207 passed, the historic preservation commission needed to have the petition signed by two-thirds of property owners,” he said. Scottsdale is moving forward to designate the 1950s neighborhood Scottsdale Estates 4 and the downtown Fifth Avenue shopping district — but just a little more slowly. “A number of neighborhoods have approached us,” said city historic preservation director Bob Cafarella. “We will work with them and get as many waivers signed as possible and approach the City Council.” But how many waivers it would take to gain council approval and move the process forward is unknown. “Do we need to show that 80 percent of homeowners have signed off? Do we need 100? Fifty? That’s what we’re all talking about,” he said.
Shelley Trevor, Tweed’s granddaughter, said she is not happy about the sale. “My mother had given it to the Mayo Clinic to be used for charitable means,” she said. “But money always wins, I guess.” The house is no longer large enough to accommodate the number of patients seeking to stay there, said Tom Davie, executive director. The nonprofit’s current facility houses patients from the Mayo Clinic who are recuperating from kidney, liver, heart, pancreas or bone marrow transplants. The transplant house, in return, asks $25 a night for room and board, if the patient can afford it. “We provide lodging for patients and their caregivers, both pre- and post-transplant,” Davie said. “We’ve served several thousand patients in those years.” The facility, however, only has seven rooms. So the decision was made to move to a new location to be built at the Mayo Clinic’s Phoenix campus at 56th Street and Mayo Boulevard.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo: Barn at Brusally Ranch.]
The severe winter of 1609 to 1610, which the colonists referred to as the "starving time," killed most of the Jamestown colonists, leading the survivors to plan a return to England in the spring. However, on June 10, Thomas West De La Warr, the newly appointed governor of Virginia, arrived with supplies and convinced the settlers to remain at Jamestown. In 1612, John Rolfe cultivated the first tobacco at Jamestown, introducing a successful source of livelihood. On April 5, 1614, Rolfe married Pocahontas, thus assuring a temporary peace with Chief Powhatan. The death of Powhatan in 1618 brought about a resumption of conflict with the Algonquians, including an attack led by Chief Opechancanough in 1622 that nearly wiped out the settlement. The English engaged in violent reprisals against the Algonquians, but there was no further large-scale fighting until 1644, when Opechancanough led his last uprising and was captured and executed at Jamestown. In 1646, the Algonquian Confederacy agreed to give up much of its territory to the rapidly expanding colony, and, beginning in 1665, its chiefs were appointed by the governor of Virginia.
More than 350 petroglyphs (etched into the rock) or pictographs (painted on the rock), arrowheads, pottery and other artifacts have been found at 12 prehistoric rock art sites in the archaeological district, O'Leary said, asking that the exact locations not be revealed because of possible looting or vandalism. Furthermore, the sites can be excavated and Carbon-14 dating used to give a better insight into the history of the people who lived in the area between 5000 B.C. and A.D. 1400. "We're on the border in the Jornada Mogollon cultural area that includes the Mimbres area, too," O'Leary said. "So there was a lot of movement back and forth of prehistoric people in the Deming area, the Mimbres, the Gila, through here, and into Mexico. These sites reflect that. There are images that are found in Mexico, around Casas Grandes, and brought into the Southwest. "We nominated the district to the National Register because it is a significant area that documents the migrations of people into and from the Southwest. The Anasazi start a little north of Truth or Consequences. The Kachina cult, which Pueblos embrace as their religion, came through the Mogollon and Jornada area. And we can see the beginning of Pueblo religion in the rock art sites, too."
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: NMSU.]
“The historic angle really helps give Scottsdale a sense of place,” said Laura McMurchie, Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau vice president of communications. “There are resorts and interesting shopping areas everywhere in the world, but history really grounds Scottsdale’s offering as being particularly unique.” In Old Town, at the entrance to Civic Center Mall at Main Street and Brown Avenue, visitors can pick up walking tour brochures that give them a guide to historic locations downtown. The spots include the “Little Red Schoolhouse,” the site of the current Scottsdale Historical Museum. “My parents went to school in the Little Red Schoolhouse,” said JoAnn Handley, the museum’s manager. “A lot of people go into a city and they like to know about the history when they visit,” she added.
That’s no surprise to John Dant, a retiree who volunteers at the Civic Center’s visitor cart and often offers brochures and history lessons. When asked for a “Southwestern lunch spot” on a recent afternoon, Dant told the tale of Los Olivos Mexican Patio, a Mexican restaurant established more than 50 years ago by the Corral family. “That’s exactly what I’m looking for,” said Shelly Murray, of Gaithersburg, Md. “Whenever I go somewhere, I want to find places that you’re not going to have back at home.” [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Paul O'Neill.]
Each summer they conduct classes, digging until they have exposed more of the walls, then covering up their work. The Hopi feel strong ties to Homol'ovi and visit often. Tribal members hold cultural workshops in the park; several are planned in the upcoming months. Artists will demonstrate their crafts, speakers will address subjects ranging from medicinal herbs to dry farming. On July 7, Suvoyuki Day will feature a corn roast, a 2K and 5K run at sunrise and a program by Hopi dancers. Archaeologists and tribal members will be on hand. The celebration is a joint effort of the Hopi people, Arizona State Parks, and the Homolovi Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. Although the area shows signs of small-scale use as early as 600, it became a gathering place in the 1200s as villages in the Four Corners began to collapse. The park has two ruins, Homol'ovi I and II, for visitors to examine, although eight ruins scattered throughout the area once comprised the site. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Sunday, May 13, 2007
"It was quite obvious by the tracks that someone dragged the boulder to their vehicle and left the area,'' Dorsey said. Petroglyphs are designs or figures that have been pecked or scratched into rock surfaces. Many Indian groups consider them just as important today as they were hundreds of years ago. "This is their written history,'' Dorsey said. Dorsey said there is a $500 reward for information leading to the boulder's return. Anyone with information regarding the artifact can call him at 928-317-3212.
Its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, claims the federal government did an inadequate environmental review of artifacts and cultural resources before transferring the land. The 3,500-member tribe wants to "prevent further destruction of Quechan cultural sites and resources" and force the federal government to follow environmental- and historic-preservation laws that govern such land transfers, tribal attorney Frank Jozwiak said. "Once the tribe is satisfied that its historical and cultural interests are identified and appropriate steps are in place to protect and preserve those interests . . . the tribe will not oppose the land transfer or the refinery," Jozwiak said. Arizona Clean Fuels Yuma has been attempting to build the refinery for more than a decade. Backers say the late March purchase of the 1,460-acre chunk of land near Tacna, about 40 miles east of Yuma, shows that the long-planned refinery project has made progress. Arizona Clean Fuels has secured a federal air-quality permit needed to build a 150,000-barrel-per-day refinery, the first new U.S. refinery project to obtain such a permit in 30 years. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Thursday, May 10, 2007
ASU had often asserted that it wanted to be more holistic in its dealings with the community - specifically the citizens of Tempe - and everyone looked forward to them doing so. Then, in 2004, the drive-through First National Bank building at University Drive and Mill Avenue was demolished. In this earlier case of old bank versus New American University, we were told the university planned to build an Art and Business Gateway at the site. After a review by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), it was determined that the integrity of the motor bank had been altered enough that it was ineligible for the National Register of Historic Places and therefore not officially "historic." This descriptive appellation is important because an individual can consider anything historic, but for it to be historic in the eyes of the state, it must have some determination as such by the SHPO. The SHPO, in turn, uses standards based on federal historic preservation laws. Usually one of these requirements is that the building be at least 50 years old. However, in the case of the former Valley National Bank building, or the nearby Gammage Auditorium, age isn't as much of a factor as architecture and location. In fact, Gammage was built two years after the bank and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985.
ASU: bank in the way
According to ASU's Comprehensive Development Plan, one of the planning principals for the Tempe campus is to "create a campus which is responsive to the unique history, place, climate and sustainability of our region." These were just words, though, for in this same document ASU subtly detailed how the Valley National Bank building -- the epitome of the unique history, place, climate and sustainability of Tempe -- was to be replaced by a residential life complex. Almost two years later, ASU notified the SHPO the former bank building, which the university had been using as a visitors center for the last two decades, was in the way of progress. ASU asked the SHPO what measures it needed to take to deal with the building that was in the new Barrett Honors College's "potential area of effect." This is important, because Arizona Revised Statutes requires state agencies such as ASU to consider existing historic structures in their undertakings. While it can be expected that not all historic buildings will be preserved under this law, it was written with the intention that state agencies will at least try to save the cultural resources under their control.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Walt Lockley.]
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
More students crammed into mini-dorms meant more late-night parties, more noise, more cars competing for limited parking, and a qualitative change in the ambience of the area. Absentee landlords raked in rent and were happy, while residents living in owner-occupied homes grew increasing unhappy. The city's initial remedy was to create an amendment to the land-use code that would create an "overlay" zone. It essentially said that existing zoning for a neighborhood would remain unchanged, but within a portion of a neighborhood the residents could choose to establish different conditions governing, for example, architectural styles or the size of setbacks (the distances between the property line and a structure). In a way, the overlay zone would create a village within a village. That change ran into problems because initially the process of creating the overlay zone, or Neighborhood Preservation Zone, NPZ, could be launched if only 25 percent of the property owners signed a petition requesting it. The residents could not establish the NPZ with 25 percent, but that amount allowed them to begin the process that might lead to one. The City Council would have the final say. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The design, chosen by Napolitano from among five finalists, includes a "Grand Canyon State" banner across the middle of the quarter, separating the canyon view with a multi-rayed sun above and a stately saguaro in a desert landscape below. The Arizona quarter, 48th in the state-by-state series, will be released in May 2008, followed by Alaska and Hawaii. One of the other four finalist designs showed a version of the Grand Canyon scene by itself while a second consisted of the Saguaro desert landscape. The third showed 19th Century explorer John Wesley Powell in a boat on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and the fourth was of Navajo codetalkers - U.S. Marines who used their native language to thwart Japanese eavesdroppers during World War II. The combination design was the overwhelming favorite on 112,830 entries submitted to an online poll conducted by Napolitano's office. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
1. Charlottesville, Va. 2. Chatham, Mass. (pictured) 3. Chestertown, Md. 4. Durango, Colo. 5. Ellensburg, Wash. 6. Hillsborough, N.C. 7. Little Rock, Ark. 8. Mineral Point, Wis. 9. Morgantown, W.Va. 10. Providence, R.I. 11. West Hollywood, Calif. 12. Woodstock, Ill.
In addition, the National Trust recognized the city of New Orleans for exemplary achievement in heritage tourism. The citation reads, “New Orleans is a richly unique, authentic, historic community that is reinventing itself through preservation-based revitalization. The National Trust salutes the unflagging spirit of the people of New Orleans.” For more information on the Dozen Distinctive Destinations, visit the National Trust Website.
But work on the Royal Johnson House, 240 N. Court Ave., will likely never end, said Arthur Stables, an architect who helped add new windows, doors, floors, roofing, heating and cooling to the home built in the shadow of the Tucson Presidio. "Historical things don't just exist in one time. They keep evolving as people use them," Stables said during a presentation Thursday marking the close of $173,000 in work funded by the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund. The building's origin is unknown, but by 1881 it was owned by local ice merchant Royal Johnson, who lived and maybe kept ice there for 12 years, said Annette Campbell, who is on the commission committee that guided the work. It sits just one-half block from the uncovered portion of the presidio wall that will become part of the city's Origins Heritage Park. "This building is one of the first buildings that grew out of the development of the fort," Campbell said.
State-funded renovations began in 2001 with the hiring of architects, adobe experts and craftsmen, but the love began pouring into the structure in the early 1980s, said commission Executive Director Sandy Davenport. In 1981, the fledgling group asked the city not to demolish the ramshackle house and to let it move in. Starting in 1983, the commission rented the city-owned property for $1 per year, and volunteers set to work with hammer and nail. Eventually the landlord came calling, Davenport said. "As it got better and better, at one point the city wanted to take it back," she said. The commission held its ground, and by 2000 the city had turned over the keys for the price of a month's rent. Some of the volunteers' work in the 1980s had to be undone to meet federal Department of Interior standards for historic restoration to be on the Register of Historic Places. You have to be very careful what you do and don't do," said Heritage Fund grant coordinator Vivian Strang. There were plenty of surprises as the home's walls and roof were pulled apart, Stables said. The roof - 18 inches of hard-packed mud on top of two layers of saguaro ribs - was basically supported by two-by-fours. There were cavities of several cubic feet inside the adobe walls caused by leaks in pipes and the roof. There was asbestos in window frames and under tile. Despite the transformation, there is plenty left to do. Flooring and lighting are next, and other interior work remains, Davenport said. "There is plenty of work to go around," she said. To make a tax-deductible donation to the restoration effort, call Sandy Davenport at 624-8318.
Brad Archer, curator of the R.S. Dietz Geology Museum at Arizona State University, estimates that the young camel — the size of a small pony — is 8,000 to 10,000 years old and could be a remnant of the Ice Age. The bones were preserved four feet down in an area known as the Mesa Terrace where the Salt River was located during the Ice Age, Archer said. It appears that an intact set of bones became disturbed first when crews dug a trench for a water line, then filled it in, only to dig another hole for a citrus tree, Archer said. The excavation has produced teeth, a lower jaw section, a hoof, a humerus, scapula, vertebrae and some rodent bones, Babiarz said. Archer called this a unique find for Arizona and said it is the first prehistoric camel to be unearthed in the Valley. Babiarz said he will work on the dig throughout the weekend. Then, he must get back to planting the citrus trees at the future Wal-Mart site. Babiarz is well versed in finding bones. In Wyoming he discovered Tyrannosaurus Rex bones, and 10 years ago worked with Archer to find a Colombian mammoth in Chandler.
Monday, May 07, 2007
He lost the 1986 GOP gubernatorial primary to Evan Mecham, who was elected, then later impeached. Barr died in 1997. His name is memorialized on the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix. The house is east of State Route 51 and north of Bethany Home Road in Phoenix. Williams said he thinks Barr lived in the house into the late '60s, maybe into the early '70s. The current owners, Stephen and Amy O'Meara, are looking for a place that will accommodate a larger studio. Stephen O'Meara is a sculptor and silversmith. Amy declined to say what her husband paid for the house but said he bought it about 10 years ago "when real estate was crashing in Arizona." The house has been listed for about a month. There have been some lookers but no offers. The couple think the house will sell. Amy said that about six times a year, someone leaves a business card on their front door telling them to get in touch if they decide to sell. "This is a really interesting time in history," Amy said. "There's a revival of 1950s retro cool going on. People really are appreciating it more than they did 10 to 20 years ago."
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Certain that French victory would come swiftly in Mexico, 6,000 French troops set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles. From his new headquarters in the north, Juarez rounded up a rag-tag force of loyal men and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas-born General Zaragoza, the 2,000 Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On the fifth of May, 1862, Lorencez drew his army, well-provisioned and supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and began their assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers to the fewer than 100 Mexicans killed.
Although not a major strategic victory in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza's victory at Puebla tightened Mexican resistance, and six years later France withdrew. The same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico by Napoleon in 1864, was captured and executed by Juarez' forces. Puebla de Los Angeles, the site of Zaragoza's historic victory, was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza in honor of the general. Today, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo, a national holiday in Mexico.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Cactus rustlers, he said, swoop into areas like Sierra Blanca and round up hundreds of plants to sell for big profits. Since Arizona and New Mexico have adopted tough anti-cactus rustling laws, Shapleigh said, the practice has proliferated in Texas. Almost 100,000 cacti worth about $3 million were shipped from Texas to Arizona from 1998 to 2001, according to a Senate analysis. Often the plants rustlers dig up are ones birds, bats and other animals use for food and shelter. "The Chihuahuan desert does have one of the highest diversities of cacti species on the planet, so it's something we need to keep an eye on," said Kevin Bixby, executive director of the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces. Bixby said he has seen rustlers in action in his own Las Cruces neighborhood, though he and some neighbors were able to scare off the succulent stealers. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]