Sunday, August 19, 2007

Downtown Phoenix vintage buildings dodge the wrecking ball

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] -- These days, it's either move it or lose it, downtown Phoenix preservationists say. It's becoming more common for residents, with the city's help, to pluck vintage buildings out of the path of development and put them in new neighborhoods. Moving an entire building used to be rare in Phoenix. The process was so complex and expensive that usually only one building moved each year. That's changing. Downtown Phoenix land values have skyrocketed, and many old buildings sit on prime real estate.

[Editor's Note: Dan Klocke has let us know that the move date has been pushed back a tad to the weekend of September 7/8.]

Arizona State University's new downtown campus, a $600 million Phoenix Convention Center expansion, light-rail construction and condo high-rises have ignited a building boom. Some high-profile demolitions -- including Madison Square Garden, a 1929 former boxing arena in downtown Phoenix that was razed in 2005 -- also have increased public pressure to save rare buildings. Plus, more city leaders want to see new uses for vintage spaces in the downtown development mix. "We have moved more homes in the past five years than we have in the past 45," said John McCollough of McCollough Move-A-Home, a firm that has been moving buildings for more than four decades. McCollough estimates that his company has moved 100 houses in the Phoenix area in the past five years.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Tom Tingle, Arizona Republic. Caption: "Dan Klocke will have this historic Phoenix home moved to a new location."]