Monday, December 10, 2007

Glendale's Catlin Court historic district adds 71 homes

[Source: Carrie Watters, Arizona Republic] -- An additional 71 homes in Catlin Court have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, giving the downtown Glendale neighborhood 134 properties with historic status. Some of the quaint homes date to 1914, with numerous Craftsman bungalow-style homes built in the 1920s. Russ and Debbie Spencer bought their Catlin Court home more than two years ago. The couple were leaving Las Vegas and a tract home in a walled community. They sought a place without fences. "We were getting back to neighborhoods," Russ Spencer said. Their 70-year-old Gardenia Avenue home is now on the National Register. The latest expansion takes the historic district from seven to 22 blocks, from 59th to 55th avenues and roughly Orangewood to Palmaire avenues. For the first time, the historic district has pushed east of 57th Avenue.

That's a welcome addition for homeowner Gilbert Chavez, whose 1930s-era home is now on the register. Chavez should see nearly a 50 percent reduction in his property taxes and has applied for grants to assist with improvements. The landscape architect would like to replace windows and replaster his Santa Fe-style home. He gave kudos to the city for assisting residents through the process. Glendale has 290 properties on the National Register, which began in 1966 to support, protect and coordinate properties considered worthy of preservation. The historic-district expansion into East Catlin Court is just one sign of renewal there. The neighborhood has been tentatively approved for a $50,000 city grant to begin planning streetscape improvements that could include trees and antique-looking streetlights that match others throughout downtown.

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