Wednesday, October 31, 2007

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