Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Arizona Women's Hall of Fame seeks nominees

The Arizona Women's Hall of Fame (AWHOF) is planning an induction ceremony for November 10, 2008, a year from now, and they are currently inviting nominations to honor women who have played a significant role in shaping Arizona. Today there are 75 inductees in the Hall of Fame, women who have been honored posthumously for their contributions in fields ranging from agriculture, education, and politics to the arts, philanthropy, and medicine. Major sponsors of the event are Arizona State Library, Archives, & Public Records; Arizona Historical Society; Arizona Humanities Council; Office of the Governor; Sharlot Hall Museum; and a representative from the public. The nomination form has been updated and simplified, and will be available shortly on the Website.

A message from the APF President

As the Foundation enters its 28th year, we have several important activities to report. Our most high-profile activity at the moment is our position on the Sun Mercantile Building dispute. The Foundation is one of the numerous plaintiffs in a lawsuit to reverse a Phoenix City Council approval of the plan to develop an 11-story condominium inside and on top of the historic Sun Mercantile Building adjacent to the US Airways Center downtown. The lone surviving Chinatown landmark is a local, state, and national historic site and is deserving of protected status. It is also owned by the City of Phoenix.

The case has important ramifications for preservation because development of the 11-story condo tower, as proposed by the developer, ignores the recommendations of the Historic Preservation Officer and Historic Preservation Commission. Our position is that the historic building should be incorporated into the project without destroying its physical integrity. We believe there are several architectural options that will meet our goals and the developer’s economic needs. Click here to download and read an excellent commentary by Richard deUriarte, editorial writer for the Arizona Republic.

In addition, one of our most important activities is the restoration and revitalization of the 1904 Montgomery House in downtown Phoenix. We received the home from the City of Phoenix and have obtained grants and donations to get the project rolling. To date we have completed the architectural plans for converting the home into a small office building while maintaining its historic adobe walls and architectural details. We will construct a small companion office building behind it to make the project an economic success. Our Foundation’s goal is to sell this project and use the equity to continue to save properties throughout the state.

Of our current activities, though, none is as important to your Foundation as our membership drive. We have a lofty, but attainable, goal of becoming one of the largest memberships in the country. To accomplish this would open the door to a greater voice in public policy matters and the ability to fund important restoration projects such as the Montgomery House.

Your Board of Directors would appreciate your assistance in bringing in friends and associates who share our desire to preserve our heritage. Membership in the Arizona Preservation Foundation helps save our important structures and archaeological sites. More members mean we’ll have an increased ability to communicate and educate city and state leaders, and permit us to expand our educational efforts. Please refer your friends to our website.

I appreciate your Board’s confidence in me as President this year. I am enjoying the opportunity immensely.

Gregory C. Michael

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Flagstaff's Picture Canyon now a state historic site

[Source: Cyndy Cole, Daily Sun] -- Those attempting to keep east Flagstaff archaeology site Picture Canyon off-limits to developers say they made gains on Friday when a state committee dubbed the canyon a state historic site. It will now be up to the feds to decide whether to dub the petroglyph-filled canyon a National Historic Site. It could also be named a national landmark. "It was really good news," Coconino County Supervisor Deb Hill said of Friday's decision by the state's Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee in Phoenix. The titles don't create instant legal protections, Hill said. But they help in the ultimate goal: Getting the canyon set aside from developers and reserved for public use. "It makes preservation a priority of the state," Northern Arizona University archeologist Kelley Hays-Gilpin said. Hays-Gilpin has been seeking such protections for five years. Hill would like 300 acres of the area, rather than 30, covered under some sort of protection against development. Picture Canyon is located in a bit of Arizona State Land downstream from a municipal wastewater treatment center. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Monday, October 29, 2007

Phoenix's Fairview Place historic district offers home tour

[Source: Marge McCue] -- Fairview Place is a “can do” neighborhood of 342 homes, located between the Rose Garden on 15th Avenue and the State Fairgrounds. A warm welcome will be extended to visitors from around the valley on Sunday November 11, 2007, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Fairview Place historic neighborhood. Its residents want to show that living downtown is a sound investment, environmentally and economically. Community spirit is alive and flourishing in this area of cozy, small homes near Encanto Park. It is a neighborhood of rich heritage. Several of the original homeowners became prominent Phoenix citizens. Included in this year’s tour will be the beautifully restored Franklin School, built in 1926.

Palm Lane, which is in the center of the neighborhood, will offer refreshments, music by the Phoenix College Jazz Band, and civic displays. A portion of the funds raised will be used to provide comforting soft toys to aid the Phoenix Police Department in their work with abused children. Supplying teddy bears has been an ongoing project for the Fairview Place Neighborhood Association since 1993. The Tour costs $10. Tickets will be available at 1526 W. McDowell Road. Free parking and a free vintage Ollie the Trolley shuttle will be available at that location. For more information, contact Alan Staggs at 602-604-2293 or Malinda Hurd at 602-712-0721. [Rendering by Gerry McCue.]

Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area bill passes House

[Source: Representative Raúl M. Grijalva; C.J. Karamargin] -- Legislation introduced earlier this year by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, to establish the Santa Cruz Valley as a National Heritage Area, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The legislation passed by a vote of 291-122. Part of a package of amendments to the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Act, the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Act will help preserve and promote the cultural and natural resources in the Santa Cruz Valley.

National Heritage Areas differ from National Parks and other types of Federal designations because they do not impose Federal zoning or regulations on land use, and do not involve land acquisitions. Because a National Heritage Area is locally initiated and managed, it is a community-based conservation strategy that recognizes that the people who live in a heritage area are qualified to preserve its resources.

"I am proud to have brought this bill from the Santa Cruz Valley to the floor of the House of Representatives," said Rep. Grijalva. "I want to thank all the stakeholders who came together to help protect this area. Heritage areas connect people to the cultural, historic, and natural treasures of an area, and this legislation will maintain the Santa Cruz Valley through education, preservation and promotion of its unique resources."

National Heritage Area designation provides federal recognition and financial support. Through annual Congressional appropriations administered by local National Park unit partners, up to $10 million in 50-percent match funding is available to each National Heritage Area over a period of 15 years. This "seed money" can help cover basic expenses such as staffing, and leverages other money from state, local, and private sources to implement locally selected projects. This initial investment ensures that these areas get a solid start toward financial and operational independence.

"Congress can either provide the program, tools and support it needs to continue maturing into a successful preservation model or we can turn our backs on heritage areas and leave local communities to fend for themselves," said Grijalva. "Ever since Congress established heritage areas over twenty years ago, heritage tourism has been growing. Today, it has become a significant economic engine. These areas are worthwhile not only as a way to help local economies, but as a crucial tool in preserving our communities' links to their past."

The Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area would encompass roughly 3,300 square miles in southern Arizona, bordering Mexico. The Santa Cruz Valley contains cactus-covered slopes, open grasslands, rugged canyons, forested mountain ranges, and rare desert streams. It also is home to Spanish missions, fortresses, ghost towns, and old mines. Traces of human habitation in the valley stretch back more than 12,000 years.

"This designation helps our community create a future that honors the cultural traditions, historic places and natural treasures that are so important to us all," said Vanessa Bechtol, programs manager for Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, a non-profit group advocating creation of the heritage area. "We applaud Congresswoman Giffords and Congressman Grijalva for introducing legislation that celebrates and promotes our rich heritage."

[To view video of Congresswoman Giffords' floor statement supporting this bill, click here and go to the video library on the Press Center page of her website. To view the full text of the legislation creating the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area, click here. Photo source: Jonathan Mabry.]

How to develop an interactive marketing strategy for your heritage organization

This dynamic workshop, offered by the Arizona Tourism University, will present a wide range of interactive/online marketing topics in an easy to follow and practical format. Discussions will include fundamentals such as Web site basics, online advertising, e-mail campaigns, search engine optimization, measuring campaigns, as well as best practices and useful interactive marketing tips. In addition, the workshop will also cover advance topics including trends in social networking, mapping, Web site analytics, user-generated content, and video. To register for a workshop, contact Sarah Martins at 602-364-3687.
  • November 14, 2007, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Hon-Dah Resort-Casino and Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 85935
  • December 5, 2007, Venue to be determined
  • December 13, 2007, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Cochise College Benson Campus, Room 113, 1025 State Route 90, Benson, Arizona 85602

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sedona Main Street Program earns national recognition

The efforts of the volunteer and stakeholder driven Sedona Main Street Program have earned it national recognition for meeting standards of performance set by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and its National Main Street Center. Sedona Main Street Program is one of only 5 of the 15 Main Street communities in Arizona named as a 2007 Accredited National Main Street Program. There are almost 1200 communities with local Main Street Programs throughout the country and Sedona joins the elite group of 650 programs meeting the stringent criteria required for national accreditation.

"This is the fifth year Sedona Main Street Program has received this prestigious recognition" according to Holly Epright, Executive Director. "I am honored to accept this national accreditation on behalf of our Board of Directors. They and many additional volunteers give countless hours and are dedicated to the Program's grassroots efforts. We are supported by our members, sponsors and benefactors and this recognition reflects our stakeholders' commitment to keeping Sedona's core and historic commercial district vital and vibrant." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wickenburg disinterested in history; wants to disinter original settlers

Wickenburg Founding Father, Henry Wickenburg, and several other early residents are slated for disinterment from their graves located on top of a hill on South Adams St. and Howard Court in Wickenburg, Arizona.

  • Henry Cowell (1852 – 1928)
  • Lydia Cowell (died June 29, 1905)
  • James Ouncell (possible Cowell; died June 17, 1900)
  • W. Weise (1846 – 1907)
  • Henry Wickenburg (November 21, 1819 – May 14, 1905)

It is the opinion of James Garrison, Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer, and Kathryn Leonard, National Register of Historic Places Coordinator, that the site’s significance and integrity make it eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Any attempt to move the graves would result in severe damage to the historic monuments and the National Register eligibility of the site. National Register properties are eligible to receive competitive grant funding from the Arizona Heritage Fund as well as other national funding sources for acquisition, rehabilitation, and interpretive development.

It all began several years ago when the Town of Wickenburg sold off portions of Wickenburg property for a housing development. The hill that Henry Wickenburg camped on when he first came to the area is the location of his burial plot (he asked to be buried there). The hill is now almost completely surrounded by houses and the property owners would like the graves moved. There is a vacant piece of privately-owned property that, if purchased, could provide access to the publicly-owned cemetery from the street.

It has been suggested that the Wickenburg Historic Preservation Society (WHPS) acquire the gravesite from the Town of Wickenburg so WHPS could maintain the existing property, work on acquiring access from the neighbor, place the property on the National Register of Historic Places, and seek grant funding assistance. As a "last ditch" alternative, WHPS has suggested moving the graves to the Wickenburg Boetto House property in an attempt to save them and provide a spot for tourism and interpretation.

The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) contacted WHPS officials and wrote a letter to the Wickenburg City Council encouraging the preservation of the cemetery and graves in their original location. The Arizona State Museum also favors leaving the graves in place. The Town Council, however, voted to have WHPS proceed in moving the graves. It has not yet been determined by the SHPO if the Wickenburg Boetto House property is suitable for a cemetery.

WHPS ran a legal ad in the weekly Wickenburg Sun on August 29, September 5, September 12, and September 19, 2007 and posted it on the Town website. This is the first legal step and notifies any possible family members about the movement of the graves. Now the legal advertisement has occurred, WHPS will be required to wait another six months before it can start moving the graves. It is the intention of the Town of Wickenburg to abandon the “Henry Wickenburg Gravesite” cemetery site.

In the July 19, 1924 Arizona State Miner, Sharlot Hall wrote an article about the cemetery, saying: “Wickenburg has a gold mine in that old graveyard exactly where it is located...that tiny piece of land lies exactly where every train-load of people are compelled to see it. It is worth big money as the very best slam-you-in-the-face advertisement to be had. It should be cleaned up and fenced with a good attractive iron fence to include every grave. The grave and home of Uncle Henry Wickenburg should become a public charge of the Town – not merely for the fine spirit of remembrance but for the good of advertisement in it. Properly played up every visitor who had an hour to spare in the town would pay a taxi fare to see the historic piece of ground.”

What can you do? You are welcome to express your opinion about this matter to:

Contact the Wickenburg Town Council at Wickenburg Town Hall, 155 N. Tegner St., #A, Wickenburg AZ 85390, 928-684-5451,
  • Mayor ~ Ron Badowski
  • Vice-Mayor ~ Jim Girard
  • Council Member ~ Chris Band
  • Council Member ~ John Cook
  • Council Member ~ Kristi Henson
  • Council Member ~ Scott Stewart
  • Council Member ~ John Zerby

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Archaeologists uncover history's leftovers on Phoenix's CityScape site

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] -- The prehistoric pit houses, a century-old cosmetic-cream jar and antique bricks tell the story of the first merchants in downtown Phoenix. Archaeologists earlier this month found those artifacts deep beneath the downtown parking lot where on Monday crews will begin building a $900 million hub of shops, offices and restaurants. When it's complete, developers say, CityScape will pump vitality into a three-block parcel near Central Avenue and Washington Street, bringing the area full circle.

Long before it was dominated by a park and the parking lot, that intersection was the cradle of Phoenix commerce. During a four-week dig, scientists found wall fragments dating to the late 1800s - what's left of the first businesses built by Anglo and Mexican settlers. John Y.T. Smith's mill, the Hotel Luhrs and attorney Edward Irvine's adobe and brick buildings were the town's commercial heart during that period. "We are looking at the very beginnings of the city of Phoenix," city archaeologist Todd Bostwick said.

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

Trevillyan keeps Sedona's history alive

[Source: Tyler Midkiff, Larson Newspapers] -- To recognize Arizonans dedicated to preserving state history, the Arizona Historical Foundation, the state historian and Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale created the annual Arizona Culturekeeper award. Sedona’s own Janeen Trevillyan, a historian with the Sedona Historical Society, was among nine individuals and one organization selected to receive the award this year and she will be one of less than 100 Arizonans overall to receive the award before it’s laid to rest at the state centennial in 2012. Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s state historian, made the award presentations personal and meaningful, according to Trevillyan, but she admits she felt like tiptoeing through the room during the ceremony. It was filled with many of Arizona’s most seasoned historians. Trevillyan is new to the trade, she admitted, but she’s made up for lost time. The 60-hour work weeks which are typical of her life as an historian may be more consuming than the long hours she dedicated to her career before retiring in 1999, she said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

City should preserve Sun Merc, Arizona Republic columnist says

In this October 24, 2007 column, Arizona Republic editorial writer, Richard deUriarte, encourages the City of Phoenix to preserve the 1929 Sun Mercantile Building just as it did with another city-owned property, the Phoenix Union High School buildings at 7th Street and Van Buren.

Future of Phoenix’s first Orthodox synagogue uncertain

[Source: Deborah Sussman Susser, Jewish News of Greater Phoenix] -- The first Orthodox synagogue in the city still stands at 333 E. Portland St. in downtown Phoenix, but it could very well be gone in a matter of days. While the building’s records are safely stored at the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, the structure itself, designed by architect Max Kaufman and built by Arizona’s Mardian Construction in 1954, is not protected by any kind of historic designation, and the land on which it stands may be in the process of being sold.

Reached September 17, David Hemphill, director of the Black Theater Troupe, which owns the building, said that a “transaction” was taking place, but that he was not at liberty to disclose the details. The BTT received $2.3 million in the city bond election last year, in part to restore the building.

“It is troubling that the bond election was held under one pretext and here we are a year and a half later and it’s all changed,” said Kevin Weight, of the city’s Historic Preservation Office. “Last the public heard, at a city council meeting a few months ago, they were told they were proceeding with plans as part of the bond election. And now it’s changed and nobody knows about it except for the whispers… There ought to at least be more dialogue.”

Click here for October 26, 2007 update in Jewish News of Greater Phoenix.

Building Chronology

1945: French-Jewish survivor named Elias Loewy, “The Jewish Schindler,” is known for his heroic, clandestine rescue of more than 1,500 French Jews from deportation during WWII. Elias’ sons, Max and Fred, were members of the French Resistance. Max was killed just feet from his brother during a battle between 120 partisans and 3,000 German-led troops.

1948: Elias and family arrived in Phoenix, where Elias co-found Beth Hebrew Congregation and established the city’s Jewish Free Loan Society.

1950: Max Jacobsen, one of the founding congregants with the Loewy Family starts fund for new synagogue with a $2,000 donation.

July 1955: From the Arizona Republic, “Structure 55 X 100 feet, follows a contemporary design on its exterior, employing masonry block walls with high windows of translucent corrugated glass just under the roof. The roof, ceiled with acoustic tile, has an insulation layer of fiber glass under the waterproof top surface. There will be a special skylight penthouse over the altar section. The synagogue is divided into a lobby, kitchen sanctuary in the street end of the building, with two utility rooms each side of the platform, and altar at the rear of the sanctuary. At night specially designed recessed lighting ports will provide necessary illumination.”

Architect Max Kaufman, an amateur astronomer, designed the synagogue so that the roof is partially raised, as if a giant hand were lifting the edge of it up and away from the ark-shaped building. According to former congregation members, the quality of light that streamed in through the corrugated glass clerestory windows was extraordinary. The builder, Mardian Construction, was a well-known and important contractor in mid 20th century Phoenix.

1960: Steven Spielberg is Bar Mitzvah’d at Beth Hebrew Congregation. At 13 years old Steven also won a film contest for his 40-minute war movie, “Escape to Nowhere.”

1975: Beth Hebrew Congregation is absorbed into Beth El Congregation on Glendale Ave. 333 E. Portland building is rented out as a church.

1983: The Black Theatre Troupe of Phoenix moves to 333 E. Portland.

1991: With encouragement and support of Mayor Terry Goddard and City Council, 333 E. Portland is rededicated as the BTT’s Helen K. Mason Theater.

2005: BTT applies for $2.3 million in city bond money and $170,000 from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, most of which, according to the troupe’s proposal, would go toward fixing up the building.

2006: According to the BTT’s website, “In March 2006 the voters of Phoenix overwhelmingly approved a sweeping Bond Initiative that designated funds to The Black Theatre Troupe to renovate the Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts. Several community needs will be met by this project including: (1) the reestablishment and expansion of BTT’s programs for youth at risk that emphasize the development of social and artistic skills, cooperation, discipline, self-esteem, and sharing; (2) the provision of performance space for young performers that will also accommodate children’s productions; and (3) the provision of affordable rental space for emerging performing arts groups with Stray Cat Theatre as a resident company. As the leading African American theater company in the four-corner states. This project will allow the Black Theatre Troupe to be the “crowning jewel” of this area of downtown and a shining example of diversity in the fifth largest city in the U.S. When completed, this $2.5M project will be unique in the City of Phoenix in that it will again provide a safe and nurturing artistic environment…”

August 2006: Fred Loewy (Elias’s son) dies.

2007: Without contacting the City of Phoenix Bond Committee representatives or Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission, BTT’s Board of Directors decides that the space is insufficient in size. The BTT Board and staff elect to sell building to neighboring land assembler.

August 2007: Fred Loewy’s sons donate all his papers, including a box full of material relating to Beth Hebrew Congregation, to the Arizona Jewish Historical Society. Fred kept everything to do with the synagogue, from early congregation documents written in Yiddish to the name of the building’s architect, to photographs of the groundbreaking. Jewish News of Greater Phoenix editor Leisah Woldoff writes a story about the synagogue’s history as revealed by Fred’s papers.
September 2007: After story appears in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix about the BTT’s change of plans, text about the adaptive re-use of the building is removed from BTT website.

October 2007: Deborah Sussman Susser, editor of Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, contacts Michael Levine, a local developer with extensive experience in adaptive re-use of historic/vintage structures, including the Southwest Cotton Company Building in Phoenix (recipient of the 2007 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Grand Award) and a synagogue in Kisvarda, Hungary. Levine assesses the building and says it’s structurally sound with many of the original details in excellent condition; “it’s unique and has great bones.” According to officials with the State Historic Preservation Office and City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, “with the new archival information that’s recently come to light, the building is very likely eligible” for designation on local, state, and national historic registries.

What you can do? You are welcome to express your opinion about this matter to:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Owner: Tower above Tempe's Monti’s Restaurant only answer

[Source: Garin Groff, Tribune] -- The owner of Monti’s La Casa Vieja says the only way to save the historic adobe building is to build a 300-foot glass and steel building above it. The building — the oldest in the Valley — would remain largely untouched. But concrete columns would sit in front of it to support the mass of what’s above. Michael Monti’s proposal has generated support, opposition — and a passionate debate over just what is historic and how to ensure future generations can experience what is often considered the Valley’s most important historic structure.

[Update: The developer will return to the Tempe Historic Preservation Commission with revised plans on November 1, 2007, starting at 6 p.m. at Hatton Hall/Gov. Moeur House, 34 E. 6th St. You are welcome to attend to voice your opinion.]

Historic preservation advocates are largely siding against Monti’s plan, saying the new structure would swallow the low-slung building constructed in 1873. “It somewhat hides it,” said Bob Gasser, chairman of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. The plan isn’t an honest attempt to save the home built in 1871 by Tempe founder Charles Trumbull Hayden, said Ann Patterson, a commission member. She blasted it as “window dressing.” Though Monti said his plan will leave the inside untouched, changing the building’s setting could get the adobe structure kicked off state and national historic registries, said Jim Garrison, the state’s historic preservation officer.

The city’s historic commission opposes the high-rise above the historic building, insisting that Monti’s should stand out and the new high-rise should serve as a backdrop. So far, though. Monti has scoffed at the idea of keeping the existing building so visible. “Nobody ever said, ‘I had a great time leaning up against your stucco wall,’ ” Monti said. The real historic value of the building is its rooms, he said. Hayden built it room by room, and generations of people experienced the building by the flow of the rooms.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Monti's.]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Phoenix Children's Museum seeking donations to finish renovation

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] -- Construction crews are working hard to meet the June opening date for the Children's Museum of Phoenix. So are fundraisers. The museum needs $12.3 million for construction and renovation work at the historic Monroe School. Supporters have raised $6.7 million so far. The next round of donations will fund the final phase of construction and some of the exhibits, said Tom Ambrose, chairman of the museum board. "We're getting there," said Ambrose, who recently took his grandson to the Phoenix Zoo in 100-degree heat. More than 2,000 other families were also there that night, he recalled. "That tells me that there is a need for children's activities in this area." In early November, museum supporters plan to have another fundraising push, "Night of 100 Parties." There will be parties around the Valley during a 24-hour period from Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 to raise money for the children's museum.

The 1913 school will go through a dramatic transformation over the next few months. While the historic parts of the building near Van Buren and Seventh Streets will be preserved, a 1980s addition will be overhauled for massive exhibits. Like a three-story cable and platform "Tower Climber" that children - and adults - can climb. "We are able to play with the architecture to get the 'wow' features," said Deborah Gilpin, the museum's president and CEO. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Phoenix City Council to hear latest on former VNB site proposal on Nov. 7

[Source: Paul Barnes, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix] -- After several continuations at several levels of government, the Mayor and City Council will finally hear three rezoning cases in Phoenix's Arcadia neighborhood on Wednesday, November 7:
  • Chase Bank (formerly the 100th branch of the Valley National Bank) on the southeast corner of 44th and Camelback;
  • Camelsquare on the northwest corner; and
  • Grace Communities on the southwest corner (behind and adjacent to the Londen Center).

The following is brief description of these projects which total approximately 1,400,000 square feet:

• Chase on SE Corner -- Will revise zoning from single family residential, surface parking, and commercial to all commercial. If approved, open space will be gone, some of the mushroom columns will be removed, surface parking will be reduced, and most all of the current mature trees and landscaping will be uprooted. Furthermore, Chase’s out of state parent has still not indicated acceptance of any long term arrangement to save the bank building itself.

• Camelsquare on NW Corner -- Will replace current 283,000 SF of office space with 950,000 SF of retail, hotel and residential. Condo towers will be 110’ tall (40’ taller than Londen Center) including mechanicals.

• Grace Communities on SW Corner -- Will replace current office, residential, and retail with a 400,000 SF mixed use project that will include office, a 125 room business man’s hotel, residential and retail. Our objection is to the two four-story buildings planned to the west of the Londen Center, which we would like to see kept to three stories and the removal of 12 single family homes.

Historic preservation advocates are encouraged to attend the hearing and, if you can, WEAR A YELLOW SHIRT. While the Planning Commission has historically favored developers over neighborhoods, your attendance on November 7 is critical. It will send a strong message to the City Council which is the next body to hear the subject cases. Details of the hearing are as follows:

  • Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2007.
  • Time: 5 p.m. Try and be 20 to 30 minutes early to sign in and fill out position cards in opposition. There will be neighborhood representatives in front of the Council Chambers to assist you.
  • Place: City Council Chambers, round building at 200 W. Jefferson.
  • Parking: City garage on Southeast corner of Washington and 4th Ave. or at surface parking where available.

To review the National Trust for Historic Preservation's letter concerning the VNB site, click here. To review Opus Development's latest site plan, click here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grant comes through for Mesa Grande ruins

[Source: Gary Nelson, Arizona Republic] -- One of Mesa's most treasured cultural gems is also one of its least accessible. The Mesa Grande ruins at 10th Street and Brown Road, regarded by many as a sterling example of the Valley's ancient Native American culture, has been fenced off for years because the city has lacked money to develop it. That will begin to change, thanks to Indian casino money. Mesa applied earlier this year for $600,000 from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to begin developing what will be called the Mesa Grande Cultural Park. The Native American community now has agreed to grant $150,000 for the project, according to Scott Butler, Mesa's governmental relations director.

Tom Wilson, director of the city-owned Arizona Museum of Natural History, which oversees the ruins across from the recently closed Banner Mesa Medical Center, was ecstatic when he heard the news Tuesday. "Fortunes are smiling on us all around," he said. While the grant was smaller than what was sought, Wilson said it will be enough to build shelters over the ruins to keep them from eroding further. Those shelters, he said, also will provide shade for eventual visitors. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Roosevelt Historic District home tour

[Source: Lyle Plocher] -- The Roosevelt neighborhood, which is home to many of the oldest and largest homes in Phoenix, will be having it's annual Home Tour on Saturday, October 20th from 11 AM to 4 PM. The Tour will feature a dozen homes of varying architectural styles and sizes. Tickets are $15 or $10 with the donation of a canned food item and mention of the Roosevelt Row Harvest Festival which is taking place on the same day. Tickets can be purchased that day at 3rd Ave & Culver at the Ramada in Margaret T Hance Park. For additional information, call 602 255 0656.

Ten historic Hispanic properties announced at hispanic heritage month event

[Source: East Valley Living] -- Ten historic Hispanic properties, to be added to the Phoenix Historic Property Register, were announced at an Hispanic Heritage Month event at the Phoenix Museum of History. The sites include American Legion Post 41, Betania Presbyterian Church, Grant Park, Harmon Park, Luis Lugo Bakery, Phoenix Housing Authority, El Portal Restaurant, Sacred Heart Church, Santa Rita Center and Sotelo-Heard Cemetery. The sites were identified as part of a yearlong Hispanic Historic Property Survey completed by Athenaeum Public History Group and the city of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office. The study identifies Hispanic neighborhoods or barrios, as well as commercial, religious and institutional properties and documents their significance to the Hispanic community. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Casa Grande funeral home's blight, endangered status trouble

[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Dispatch] -- The old funeral home at Olive Avenue and Eighth Street has been the subject of city concern for years. As sure as the swallows return to Capistrano, some group in Casa Grande will again ask what can be done about the slowly disintegrating old stone funeral home at Olive Avenue and Eighth Street. Last year the building, constructed in 1927 of local fieldstone and now known as the Fisher Memorial Home, was one of three in Casa Grande that the Arizona Preservation Foundation placed on its most endangered list. The others are the train depot and the Meehan-Garr House on First Street, built in 1903 and also in an advanced state of disrepair. The Fisher Home, which with the Meehan-Garr House is on the National Register of Historic Places, has broken windows, rotting window and door frames, junk around the property and questions of general structural safety. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Annual Wickenburg home tour planned for Nov. 3

[Source: Joani Mangold, The Sun] -- Residents and visitors alike will not want to miss this year’s Las Senoras de Socorro’s 27th Annual Home Tour on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. While four homes are normally featured, this year there is a fifth home. It is quite unique, but limiting in its location and access, that it is featured as a “bonus” home. It is easy to see that this “bonus” home is an entertainer’s masterpiece. This impressive turreted and domed structure (pictured) is located north of Wickenburg, off Highway 93 and one mile northeast on Rincon Road. The drive up is steep, and parking will be limited, but vans will take visitors the rest of the way up to the estate. Be advised that this home is not recommended for handicapped or people with walking limitations.

Tickets for this years home tour are only $15.00 and available at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum or the Wickenburg Community Center on Saturday, Nov. 3. Admission includes entrance to the Desert Caballeros Western Museum the Holiday Market at the Community Center. The Holiday Market features the traditional rum cakes and other culinary arts, attractive booths filled with crafts, jewelry, books, ornaments, and the unique boutique. Begin the day with coffee and muffins available in the morning and lunch sold in the Community Center. For additional information call the Home Tour Chairs, Monica Lambert 684-3429 or Dorinne Dobson 684-0945.

Asbestos removal to get under way at Camp Naco

[Source: Laura Ory, Herald/Review] -- Preservation work at Camp Naco will get under way as asbestos removal is completed this week. Mayor George Nerhan made an emergency purchase of $5,000 for Environmental Strategies Inc. to remove asbestos from buildings at Camp Naco this week. The purchase was needed to allow University of Arizona students to complete a condition assessment this weekend and to comply with their Arizona Heritage Preservation Fund grant, Nerhan said at the Town Council meeting Thursday. The town also will seek fencing for the historic military site in the near future, Town Clerk Ron Armstrong said.

Planned Tempe high-rises bring warning from Phoenix

[Source: Katie Nelson, Arizona Republic] -- The height of Tempe's new downtown high-rises is being contested again. Phoenix aviation Director Danny Murphy sent a letter to Tempe on Tuesday saying that the planned redevelopment of Monti's La Casa Vieja into a 26-story high-rise will be detrimental to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, not far north of Town Lake. And the Federal Aviation Administration is objecting to the height of a planned 26-story Mill Avenue hotel. The complaints reignite a battle over how high Tempe's buildings should be. In the past, Phoenix and airline leaders criticized the heights of several high-profile and high-dollar Tempe condo projects and a proposed Cardinals stadium plan because they were in the takeoff paths of jetliners. They contend, among other reasons, that the heights interfere with some emergency takeoff "one-engine inoperative" procedures and that higher Tempe buildings would be bad for the airport because airplanes would have to take off at steeper angles, requiring the plane to carry lighter loads in the form of passengers or cargo to make the climb. Those height accusations consistently raise the hackles of Tempe officials who argue that no one should have control over their city's building heights but them.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Monti's.]

Monday, October 15, 2007

Old Safford Theatre's future uncertain

[Source: Aimee Staten, Eastern Arizona Courier] -- The underpinnings of a dream to restore the historic Old Safford Theatre on Main Street are starting to crumble because the building’s walls are not stable. After several months of study, two of Safford’s administrators called the downtown structure “unsafe and in very poor condition.” Those were the written words of Special Projects Manager Robert Porter and Planning and Community Development Director Pete Stasiak presented to the Safford City Council on Monday.

The city was recently asked to consider taking over the title by the building’s owners Susan and David Duros. This request prompted a thorough evaluation by city staff, Durrant Architects and TLCP, a structural engineering firm, to identify the condition of the theater and any structural concerns.

The walls were built in the style of many other local historical buildings and are what Porter called “unreinforced masonry.” Because of the rotting condition of the walls, the roof and trusses, the city recently erected a 6-foot fence to deter the public from entering the building. The walls, some as high as 35 feet and made of concrete bricks mortared together, are cracked and as much as a foot out of plumb. “Based on current codes, you cannot build an unreinforced masonry structure of this height because it cannot withstand horizontal loads like winds and earthquakes,” Porter said. The east wall is in danger of falling at any time, and the north wall is leaning out, according to Porter. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Aimee Staten.]

Monti's on agenda for next Tempe HP Commission meeting

The proposal to build on top of Tempe's historic Monti's restaurant will be considered at the Tempe Historic Preservation Commission meeting at 6 p.m., Thursday, October 18 at Hatton Hall (next to the historic Governor Moeur House at 34 East 7th St.). For background, click here.

Tempe High celebrates its centennial

[Source: William Hermann, Arizona Republic] -- The Valley's second-oldest continually operating high school turns 100 this year. During the next week, students past and present will celebrate a century of learning, friendship and civic involvement. Phoenix Union High School was the first high school in the Valley, opening in 1895, but it closed in 1982. Mesa High started in 1903. Tempe High was established in 1907. Glendale High opened in 1911, and Chandler High in 1912. Congressman Harry Mitchell is a Tempe High Buffalo as are home builder Ira Fulton, football coach Karl Kiefer and theater owner Dan Harkins. During the celebratory picnics and pep assemblies, alumni will remember the early years when the school was located at the southeastern corner of University Drive and Mill Avenue. They'll remember how teacher and principal Elmer Row gleefully snuck up on 40 years of students to catch them ditching classes. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix's Camelback, 44th projects get first approval

[Source: Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic] -- The intersection of 44th and Camelback could get a new look soon, as the Phoenix Planning Commission approved projects on three of the corners. The recommendations now go to the Phoenix City Council for final approval. In a meeting that went late into the night, the commission:

Unanimously approved a project on the southwest corner that wraps around the existing Londen Center (pictured at right). Commissioners and the public praised the company for working closely with neighbors.

Approved with one dissent a retail and condo building on the southeast corner, with [possible] preservation of the Chase Bank building (see photo above). Public opponents said the project would put up a wall between their neighborhoods and the intersection, agreeing with Commissioner Tom Awai.

Approved on a 5-3 vote a large mixed-use project on the northwest corner. The project remains as planned except that proposed heights of 98 feet in the center were reduced to 70 feet to conform with the Londen building across the street.

[Note: For more information, visit the Modern Phoenix Neighborhood Network.]

Reactions mixed over failed Phoenix annexation

[Source: Amanda Chan, Arizona Republic] -- Residents have mixed reactions over the City Council's decision not to annex the east-to-west alleyway in the Encanto-Palmcroft neighborhood. "The developer is saying that it doesn't make sense for there to be an alley in my plans, but some neighbors say [the developer] just wants more land," said Ron Pick, president of the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Preservation Association. "If this alley goes, some people are afraid it'll start a precedent for more annexations of alleys." The annexation would have blocked off a home's garage that sits on the alley, Pick said. Even though it's known that the owner doesn't use the garage, an annexation would prevent a future homeowner to use the garage, he said. "This brings up issues of what the current owner wants and what the property is and how it affects future owners," Pick said. "The whole thing is what you do today does have an effect tomorrow." Liz Kally, one of the four residents who live directly by the alleyway, supported an abandonment of the alley, although she said she could live with the result either way. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

National Conservation System Foundation formed to help protect America's heritage

[Source: National Conservation System Foundation] -- The National Landscape Conservation System is America’s newest vision for protecting the history and wild beauty of the American West. Created in 2000, the Conservation System includes National Monuments and Conservation Areas, Wilderness, Rivers and Trails -- some of the most unique and pristine lands and waters entrusted to the Bureau of Land Management. The Conservation System includes 26 million acres across 11 western states, Alaska, and even includes the Potomac Heritage Trail just outside Washington, D.C.

The Conservation System protects critical habitat for fish and wildlife, access to world-class hunting and fishing, and challenging recreation for the self-guided adventurer. Here you can still experience the West of the first Americans and early pioneers. The creation of the National Landscape Conservation System was critical step toward ensuring that our most valuable natural and cultural resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management are protected for future generations to study and enjoy. However, the Conservation System is understaffed, underfunded, and vulnerable to shifting political priorities; its lands and waters are threatened by development, vandalism, and neglect. The Conservation System needs strong, unified, national support to ensure it can protect the national treasures in its care.

Roof work a major milestone in saving Florence's Old Courthouse

[Source: Daniel Dullum, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- For six years, Ernie Feliz has worked diligently to raise funds toward restoration of the Old Courthouse. It's taken a while, but the Pinal County grants coordinator is proudly seeing the results of his labors. On the morning of Oct. 3, Feliz watched anxiously as construction crews installed new support beams to reinforce the 1891 building's original, but sagging, trusses. "The old trusses will stay in there," Feliz said while watching a crane hoist another support beam toward the roof. "This is so critical because you won't have a building if you don't have a good cover."

In his six years as grants coordinator, Feliz has raised thousands of dollars to save the Courthouse. The first part of the renovation process was in 2005, when the clock tower was shored up and new shingles were installed at a cost of nearly $270,000. The majority of the funding for the project is raised through grants from various organizations. Feliz said this part of the renovation will cost about $650,000, money raised through grants from the Arizona State Parks Historic Preservation Heritage Fund, the Arizona Office of Tourism, and the Office of Housing and Urban Development. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Daniel Dullum]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Creating and recreating a city through adaptive reuse

[Source: Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture and Arizona Chain Reaction] -- What makes a city significant? Answers might range from moments in history, famous residents, sheer size to location. Or you could say it's what is between the tall buildings that helps people connect to an urban environment. That is how Terry Goddard, current Arizona attorney general and former mayor of Phoenix begins to answer the question. He feels two key elements are often given short shrift in the conversations about creating a vibrant downtown: adaptive reuse of existing buildings and developing unique experiences at the pedestrian level. "For so long, the attitude of city planning in Phoenix has been to tear down what isn't occupied, or condemn and demolish based on current usage," says Goddard. "Sometimes it's not easy to imagine what we can do with older buildings, but we have to provide a better first option than tearing them down."

As an example, he cites the struggle he had as mayor to keep standing a certain abandoned machine-shop building on Adams Street. It was the only remaining building on the block that stood in the way of planning for large scale projects. Goddard convinced the city to keep the building by thinking about the street – having a pedestrian friendly area at Heritage Square by having a north side and south side full of interesting buildings. The brick building stayed and was eventually purchased by Chris Bianco and became the nationally-famous Pizzeria Bianco.

Bianco and Goddard recently joined other entrepreneurs, city officials, city staff, and guest speakers at a convening titled, "Creating a Vibrant City." Sponsored by Arizona Chain Reaction with support from Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture, the conversation revolved around improved cooperation between the city and the entrepreneurs wishing to renovate and repurpose old buildings. Arizona Chain Reaction Founder Kimber Lanning organized the meeting to start a dialogue on how to reduce barriers to entry for small business owners in the city of Phoenix and yet be safe, stay within code and meet the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance mandates. "Great cities are built on small wonders," says Lanning. "Look at how much one business, Pizzeria Bianco, did for the image of Phoenix. A hundred chain restaurants aren't going to do that. But the chains have the money and resources to put up new buildings and pay a higher rent or space cost."

Goddard cites figures to back this up. "If you truly want the funky spaces, an older building is the only option. An old property would rent for $10-$12 per square foot, a new building would be closer to $20-$30. The challenge is to encourage more thinking around these small scale projects and provide incentives or funding for renovation costs. Phoenix does large scale really well, but the same process for bringing in a new, big building doesn't work for smaller endeavors."

Lanning hopes to keep this conversation alive and show how small business can be the catalyst for attracting residents and other businesses to an area. For the effort to gain greater success, a community vision must occur with support from the city government. "Vision is about hard choices," says Goddard. "It can't be everything to everyone. Citizens need to be engaged and determine what the standards should be. Then the city needs to implement those standards and stick to it. The process shouldn't get in the way of the vision."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

History lessen

[Source: Robrt L. Pela, New Times] -- Mr. Blackwell has his annual Best Dressed List. Condé Nast Traveler has its Best Destinations List. And Phoenix, Land of a Thousand Demolitions, apparently keeps a list, too — of important buildings that are in danger of being demolished. The Most Endangered Historic Places List is compiled each year by the Arizona Preservation Foundation, a statewide save-the-buildings organization founded in 1979 in an attempt to rescue some of our architectural and archaeological history from the wrecking ball. The group's just-released 2007 list of 16 districts and individual buildings — compiled, like the Foundation's past inventories, from nominations by building-huggers like myself — includes a couple of shockers (a well-loved performance space; an entire neighborhood of charming old Tempe tract homes) as well as the usual abandoned schools and decimated ranches.

"We're a city built on the ruins of our own recent past," sighed Vince Murray, president of the foundation's board of directors, when I called him the other day. "We know that the issue of property rights is important to a developing community, but can we stop taking away our history during that development? We lose a piece of ourselves, and our history, every time we blow up another building." [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo: White Gates House, a Phoenix property on APF's 2007 Most Endangered Places List.]

Cave Creek Museum opens retooled archaeology wing

[Source: Beth Duckett, Arizona Republic] -- "We're the soul and voice of people no longer with us." That's what Evelyn Johnson has to say about the Cave Creek Museum. As executive director, Johnson can chat about anything and everything in the museum, from the fiery red Navajo rugs to the intricate ollas, or pots, shaped hundreds of years ago by Native American tribes. This season, Johnson has even more to talk about. The museum at 6140 Skyline Drive in Cave Creek reopened this week with a remodeled archaeology wing and new sculptures by cowboy artist Johnny Hampton. His Spooked, On the Prod and Throwing the Hooley-Ann bronzes at the museum's front entrance are part of a larger exhibit chronicling Hampton's life. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Flagstaff residents test property-rights law

[Source: Paul Davenport, Associated Press] -- Four Flagstaff residents on Wednesday sued the city in what is regarded as a test case of enforcement of a sweeping property-rights law approved by Arizona voters last year. The lawsuit claims that a special historical designation approved by the city diminished property values, in one case by preventing a resident from making a planned addition to the house he bought in 2006. The other plaintiffs also live in the same neighborhood covered by the historical designation and claimed similar damages because of rules imposing height limits and other construction restrictions.

The lawsuit was filed in Coconino County Superior Court in Flagstaff on behalf of Flagstaff residents Jon Regner, Paul Turner, Bob Richards and Margaret Allen. Richards and Allen are married. The group will be represented by the Sacramento, Calif.-based Pacific Legal Foundation. The lawsuit is said to be the first filed in connection with Proposition 207. Along with imposing new restraints on use of eminent domain, Proposition 207 mandates that state and local governments generally provide compensation for people whose property lost value due to government action. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Raney House plans still undecided in Buckeye

[Source: Kelly Carr, Arizona Republic] -- City officials have committed $1.8 million to restore the Nels Benson/Raney House. But the historic structure still does not have what it needs most - a plan. In July 2006, the town paid about $40,000 to move the 115-year-old house to a town-owned lot on Monroe Avenue. For the past 14 months, the Raney House has sat downtown on a rented platform, while officials debate its fate. Town employees have been working on exactly where the Raney House should go and a schedule for renovation. Officials have discussed several options and held a public meeting to get residents' ideas. But so far, no concrete plan has come before the council. Officials say it could cost at least $1.5 million to bring the house up to code. That amount does not include another $80,000 to $100,000 to set the home on a foundation or costs associated with moving the house again, an option that town officials are considering. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Historic status considered for Scottsdale venue

[Source: Julie Janovsky, Scottsdale Tribune] -- Louise Lincoln Kerr is considered one of Scottsdale’s early patrons of the arts by local historians. Now her former studio, where she hosted intimate concert performances dating back to the late 1940s, may officially land a place in Scottsdale’s Historic Registry. Last week, the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to initiate a case to the Scottsdale City Council to formally recognize Kerr’s studio, known as the Kerr Cultural Center, by bestowing it with a historic status. The Kerr Cultural Center is owned by Arizona State University and is still a concert and performing arts venue. Kerr bequeathed the building and property, which is located off Rose Lane, south of the Borgata shopping center, to the college upon her death in the late 1970s. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Jerome to consider affordable housing grant

[Source: Philip Wright, Verde Independent] -- When the Jerome Town Council meets in regular session Tuesday night, it will take up the subject of affordable housing, a topic that's been around for years without action. The council also will hear an update by Duff Sorell of Phelps Dodge on the status of the company's court-ordered remediation. The council will take up other business during the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Jerome Civic Center. Affordable housing has been on the wish list of every council in Jerome for years. Now the council has an opportunity to pursue restoration of the Hotel Jerome.

Al Palmieri, town clerk, said that Beverly Browning, who Palmieri describes as one of the most successful grant writers in the country, has offered to write a grant proposal to help the town acquire money to restore the historic hotel into affordable housing apartments. Browning came to Jerome several years ago, and again in September, to conduct grant-writing workshops. Palmieri said she fell in love with Jerome and wants to live there. She has proposed that instead of taking the usual 10 percent fee of the estimated $2 million in grants, the money be put toward an apartment for her. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Monday, October 08, 2007

Phoenix's Grand Avenue neighborhood groups speak up about 'Gateway on Grand'

[Source: Beatrice Moore, GAMA] -- The Grand Avenue Merchant's Association, Story Preservation Association, Oakland-University Park Neighborhood Association, Capitol Mall Association, Capitol Weed and Seed Coalition, and Downtown Voices Coalition have crafted a list of recommendations they feel are necessary to achieve a successful framework for the project at the intersection of Grand and 15th Avenues in Phoenix (currently called "Gateway on Grand"):
  1. An amendment to Arizona Land Group's application to request a height waiver, instead of a mid-rise rezoning;
  2. Transitional heights, through design stipulations, that would encourage compatibility with adjacent structures, and the neighborhood as a whole; and
  3. Conditional support for increases in density, and variances, to allow for more open space, improved pedestrian flow, and better connectivity to existing historic building profiles.

The above changes would allow Arizona Land Group to build up to 48' (residential) or 56' (mixed use) and would create an integrated project that steps down to adjacent, existing historic properties, helping to maintain the vintage context of this unique corridor into downtown. By collectively working on density, setbacks, open space, and interconnectivity, we feel Arizona Land Group could achieve a successful, and truly stellar design, that complements and positively contributes to, the existing arts, small business and residential uses already in the neighborhood.

In addition, our recommendation recognizes that the corner at Grand and 15th Avenue is a unique site on historic Grand Avenue and as such, any alterations to existing development conditions should be considered site specific for this particular corner, and not assumed to be appropriate for other parcels on Lower Grand Avenue (from McDowell to Van Buren).

To download and read the "Keep Grand Avenue Grand" information sheet, click here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Governor Napolitano announces revamp of state's economic development entities

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's eagerly anticipated economic-development revamp was announced last week -- specifically the creation of a new umbrella organization (AERO) that would encompass the Arizona Department of Commerce (including the Arizona Main Street Program), Community and Economic Development Corporation, Science Foundation Arizona, Greater Arizona Development Authority, and Arizona Global Network. Below is additional detail from the Governor's website:

Friday, October 05, 2007

27th annual Wickenburg Home Tour has five amazing homes

[Source: Wickenburg Sun] -- The annual Tour of Homes in Wickenburg has grown into one of Arizona’s most prominent home tours. This year, the 27th annual, will be held on Saturday Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s home tour is a full day of visiting five unique area homes. Start the day with a visit to the Holiday Market at the Wickenburg Community Center where tickets can be purchased and a map picked up. Admission - only $15 - includes entrance to the best western museum in the west, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. Early ticket purchases are now available at the museum.

Begin your day with coffee and muffins available in the morning and lunch sold in the Community Center. The Holiday Market will feature a wide array of crafts, cookbooks, bakery, jewelry, books, unique boutique and more. Las Senoras de Socorro has selected the L.J. Ranch - “Horses of Different Colors” as the starting point home (pictured). This 2006 home is located on the far west side of U.S. Highway 60, in the pristine Black Mountain Ranches. Visitors will be welcomed to “the most unusual 18-acre ranch” and greeted by four life-size metal horses and five live horses in a nearby pasture. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Public comments solicited on preservation of Japanese interment camps

[Source: National Park Service] -- The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments to help develop the criteria that will guide a multi-million dollar federal program to conserve WWII-era Japanese American confinement sites, located primarily in western and southwestern states. The grant program will provide financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of confinement sites where the forced relocation of more than 110,000 men, women and children-most of whom were American citizens of Japanese ancestry-occurred in 1942.

"The stories and struggles around national security and the protection of civil liberties associated with these confinement sites continue to resonate today," said Mary A. Bomar, Director of the National Park Service. "This is a great opportunity for people across the country to provide their thoughts about this new program and what criteria should be used to evaluate future grant proposals." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Phoenix Art Museum hosts Movies at the Museum: "Crossing Arizona"

[Source: Arizona Humanities Council] -- With Americans on all sides of the immigration issue up in arms, and Congress embroiled in a policy battle over how to move forward, this film tells the story of how we got to where we are today. “Crossing Arizona” examines the crisis through the eyes of those directly affected by it: frustrated ranchers, humanitarian groups, political activists, farmers,and Minutemen, an armed citizen patrol group taking border security into their own hands. As up-to-date as the nightly news, but far more in-depth, “Crossing Arizona” reveals the surprising political stances people take when immigration and border policy fails everyone. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring ASU scholars, including Simon Ortiz,indigenous poet and Professor of English; Brian Gratton, Professor of History and immigration historian; and Evelyn H. Cruz, Director of the Immigration Clinic and Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The panel will be moderated by Paul Espinosa, an independent filmmaker focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region, and Professor in the Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o studies.

Movies at the Museum admission is free; first come, first seated. As the Museum is cool, you may wish to bring a sweater for your comfort. The Phoenix Art Museum is located at the NE Corner of Central Avenue and McDowell Road. 1625 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004. Sunday, October 7. 1 p.m.

Cochise County community discussions

The Cochise County Planning Department is holding discussions over the next few months to hear perspectives from the area's residents on change, growth, and development, so they can better evaluate various land use proposals. They indicate that the sessions are geared toward preserving "a positive community character as the area grows."

Discussion dates and locations:
  • 10/06/07 Saturday - Elementary school, 9am-12pm - Huachuca City
  • 10/17/07 Wednesday - Faras Elementary, 6-9pm - Pirtleville
  • 10/30/07 Tuesday - Coronado Vineyards, 6-9pm - Willcox
  • 11/07/07 Wednesday - Portal Rescue, 6-9pm - Portal
  • 11/17/07 Saturday - Cochise College, 9am-12pm - Benson
  • 11/28/07 Wednesday - Valley View School, 6-9pm - Palominas
  • 12/05/07 Wednesday - Coronado School, 6-9pm - Hereford
  • 12/15/07 Saturday - Tombstone High School, 9am-12pm - Tombstone
  • 1/16/08 Wednesday - Pomerene School, 6-9pm
  • 1/24/08 Thursday - Sunsites Community Ctr., 9am-12pm
  • 2/06/08 Wednesday - Elfrida Community Ctr., 6-9pm
  • 2/20/08 Wednesday - San Simon Elementary, 6-9pm
  • 3/05/08 Wednesday - Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 6-9pm

Here are some points you might consider making at the sessions: the County should strive to protect and preserve the area's heritage resources, including historic places and archaeological sites; take water adequacy into account in land use decisions; go for sustainability in water, not just adequacy; evaluate developing in a sustainable manner focusing on better not bigger; be mindful of existing residents and protecting their quality of life rather than the current structures which favor future residents at the expense of those living here now; take care of and strengthen local small businesses, including food production.

Please encourage Cochise County to emulate what Pima County did with its Comprehensive Plan, which was to utilize biological significance when determining where growth should be directed. This should include mapping regional biological habitat and historic resources; using biological information to determine land use; ensuring landscape connectivity; identifying development standards to be utilized in biologically sensitive areas. [Note: For more information, click here.]

Phoenix HP Officer provides update to city's Arts, Culture & Historic Preservation Subcommittee

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] -- Historic Preservation staff presented two items to the City Council ACHP Subcommittee. The first item was an overview of the three ethnic heritage historic property surveys recently completed by the HP Office. The second item was an update on the HP Office's efforts to list the 35 city designated residential historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, only 21 of the districts are listed on the National Register, but two districts have nominations already in progress, and ten more will be the subject of a city RFQ that will be issued in November. By 2009, 33 of the 35 districts should be listed, with the two remaining districts scheduled for listing in 2011.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Valley Forward presents awards for quality design, including historic preservation

[Source: Valley Forward] -- The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Building B won top honors – the President’s Award – in Valley Forward’s 27th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA) program, Arizona’s oldest and most prestigious competition of its kind. Building B opened in 2006 and has also received the highest possible designation for environmentally friendly design and construction from the U.S. Green Building Council, marking the first time a building in Arizona has received platinum certification from the organization for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED). Its companion facility, Building A, opened in 2004 and received LEED gold certifcation, as well as two Crescordias in Valley Forward's 2005 Environmental Excellence Awards. The two buildings were constructed separately, but are connected on all levels by glass walkways.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Biodesign Institute.]

Monday, October 01, 2007

Historic downtown Tucson building restored

[Source: Eileen Warshaw] -- The Jewish Heritage Center, the first synagogue in Arizona, will host a celebration on Sunday afternoon, October 21, 2007 to dedicate the new stained glass windows and ark doors and to celebrate the completion of the historic restoration of the original 1910 building. The celebration will also include the burning of the restoration mortgage. The historic building is located at 564 S. Stone Avenue and was opened on October 3, 1910. Noted Tucson families, including the Mansfelds, Steinfelds, and Drachmans were part of the original congregation Temple Emanu-El, which occupied the structure until 1949.

From 1949 to 1995 the building housed a succession of various churches, a radio station and a little theatre. The building became part of the national landmark district Barrio Libre in 1983. In 1995 the non-profit Stone Avenue Temple Project purchased the building and started the much needed restoration. In 2005 the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Arizona merged with the Stone Avenue Temple Project to form The Jewish Heritage Center. The mission of the Jewish Heritage Center is the collection, preservation and teaching of the early Jewish experience in the American Southwest and the preservation of the first synagogue building in the Arizona Territory. The 2 p.m. event will feature the noted Jewish historian and author Harriet Rochlin of Los Angeles.

Cave Creek Museum seeks grant writer

The Cave Creek Museum seeks a contract grant writer to assist its Executive Director and President in preparing one or more grant applications for the museum. If you or someone you know is qualified and interested, please contact museum board member Ellen M. Van Riper at (602) 540-6809.