Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hidden area of Glendale faces historical extinction

[Source: Carolyn Dryer, Glendale Star] -- While one part of the city is gaining recognition for its historical distinction, another area is facing historical extinction. The Catlin Court Historic District has been approved for expansion by the National Register. The organization approved the expansion Oct. 20 for Catlin Court to expand from seven to 22 blocks, adding 134 additional contributing properties to the National Register of Historic Places. But another area of Glendale is facing extinction. An organization that researches the status of various sites around the country each year has the Glendale Tract Community Center on its 2007 most endangered list in Arizona. Ron Short, deputy director for long-range planning and director of historic preservation for the city, said the federal government platted the area on the southeast corner of 51st and Northern avenues in 1933. It was part of the New Deal to help farmers. The Glendale Tract consisted of 25 lots ranging in size from 15,000 to 18,000 square feet. Adobe homes that were built on the lots were approximately 680 square feet. A one and one-half acre site was set aside for the community center. All of the buildings have tin roofs.

In 1948, the community center site was sold to a private party. “It’s a very interesting part of Glendale history,” Short said. “At the present time, 13 of the homes and the community center still meet eligibility requirements.” Buildings must be 50 years old and their exterior integrity maintained. Last year, Short said, the owners of the community center property came to the city with a plan to build eight homes on the one and one-half acres. To put in a cul-de-sac, the community center would have to be torn down. City planner Maryann Pickering said the owners submitted their plan for a first review Jan. 5. Pickering said, “We’ve told them we’re going to support five lots and they finish up the citizen participation process with the neighborhood.” The property owners, Jaime and Alfredo Lopez, last met with neighbors Jan. 29, Pickering said. She attended the meeting and said there were about 15 to 20 residents who showed up. “A lot of people were concerned with traffic,” Pickering said. “A lot of people were concerned about the historic character of the neighborhood.” Still others, she said, were concerned about public safety access into the area. “People didn’t like the fact an HOA would have to be created,” Pickering said. Anytime a subdivision is created in the city, retention is required and that is where the HOA comes in, Pickering said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]