Sunday, November 11, 2007

A toast to saving a bit of Phoenix's history

[Source: Scott Craven, Arizona Republic] -- Phoenix isn't known for cherishing history. Older homes, offices and other buildings routinely have been torn down over the decades to make way for the new and improved, if not as distinctive. Which makes the survival of 816 N. Third St. all the more remarkable. The modest home hardly seems the survivor type, what with its red bricks flecked with paint layered on over the years, and its location just enough off the beaten path to make it difficult to notice. Matt Pool never looked twice at the single-story structure, though he would drive past it every day on his way to work. But what Pool did see one day two years ago was the "For Lease" sign suddenly posted in the front yard.

Pool, looking for a space in which to open a neighborhood tavern, had unknowingly stumbled upon the Farish House, built in 1900 and one of the handful of homes that somehow had escaped the city's penchant for destroying the old to make room for the new. Charmed by the home's historical quaintness, Pool - owner of the popular downtown restaurant Matt's Big Breakfast and a former bartender - soon would sign a lease. The result was Roosevelt Tavern, making the home perhaps more popular now than it had been in its previous 107 years. Few of those sipping an ice-cold beer fresh from the Roosevelt's super-cooled taps realize they are sitting in one of the few downtown homes that have survived for more than a century; intact, and in the same location.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Roosevelt Row.]