Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Community help needed to preserve Safford's historic Main Street theater

[Source: Jon Johnson, Eastern Arizona Courier] -- It’s been more than 30 years since the Safford Theater on Main Street closed its doors. Now an effort is under way to preserve the building and place it on the National Register of Historic Places. After being examined by the city of Safford, the building was deemed structurally unsound and beyond the city’s ability to restore. Planning and Zoning Director Pete Stasiak and Special Projects Manager Robert Porter previously reported to the Safford City Council that the building was not up to code and the east wall was in danger of falling at any time.

The walls of the theater were built in the style of many other local historical buildings and are comprised of unreinforced masonry. The walls are as high as 35 feet and are made out of concrete bricks mortared together. Time has taken its tole by cracking the bricks and causing walls to be as much as a foot out of plumb. Faced with the disheartening news, owners David and Susan Duros are attempting to receive Heritage Fund grants from Arizona’s State Historic Preservation Office. Duros said the preservation office recommended she prepare a historic building preservation plan and apply for the National Register listing on their first grant application this December. If this grant is awarded, the theater will then most likely be able to receive a building stabilization grant in a subsequent grant cycle. [Note: To read the full article, click here. ]