Friday, December 12, 2008

Sedona mulls mid-year budget; spares arts & historic preservation

[Source: Cyndy Hardy,] -- Sedona is weathering the economic storm better than many Arizona cities; but not without concern and not without tightening its belt. The Sedona City Council approved some reductions Tuesday that mainly affect unspent but budgeted expenditures. For now, city employees and some outside organizations that receive city grants avoided the chopping block. That could change early next year if the economy doesn’t improve.

In the best worst-case scenario, the city expects to tap the city’s approximately $10 million rainy day fund by about $500,000; which is about five percent of the general fund reserves, according to Interim City Manager Alison Zelms.  The council showed little resistance to the possibility considering the long-term economic forecast. “Having a reserve fund just to worship rather that to use is missing the point,” said Councilman Cliff Hamilton. “This is exactly what it’s there for.”

The current cuts affect the city’s general fund.  The City Council trimmed the general fund in October when it reduced the budget for the redevelopment plan by $300,000. At Tuesday’s meeting, the council added cuts for departmental non-salary expenditures that will reduce expenditures without cutting city staff. Most city departments historically spend between three and five percent below their annual budget. The council’s action increased that target to 10 percent below budget, including a 25-percent reduction in training and travel costs. The council froze spending of about $300,000 remaining in the contingency fund; hiring for unfilled positions; and filling new positions approved in this year’s budget including an environmental inspector, a part-time IT position, and two part-time parking attendants.

Since tourism is down, the council deferred $16,500 for a visitor intercept study that may prove more useful in the long run when the economy rebounds.  The City Council rejected a recommendation to cut city grants already budgeted to arts and historic preservation organizations.  “I think the concern is that many of the arts organizations have already budgeted and are anticipating for this money to come in.  To do it now seems a bit unfair,” said Mayor Rob Adams.  But the city may have to reduce its grants programs in the next fiscal year. The council advised them to plan accordingly.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Payson HP Commission looking for new members

[Source: Alexis Bechman, Payson Roundup] -- What’s a conservation commission to do when it can barely preserve itself? The staffers at the office of Tourism and Economic Vitality are scratching their heads trying to think of ways to attract more volunteers for the Historic Preservation and Conservation Commission.  “In order to have a meeting, it would be nice to have the vacancies filled,” said Cathy Boone, project manager for the office of Tourism and Economic Vitality.

The commission, which is scheduled to meet at least four times a year, hasn’t met in more than a year and has several open seats on the board.  The committee was scheduled to meet Monday afternoon, but the meeting was canceled after several members canceled, Boone said. Recruiting qualified members is proving almost as hard as reinventing Main Street.  “We are looking for anyone who has volunteered in the past, lives within town and has an interest in state preservation,” Boone said.  “Someone who knows about the history of the area.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oro Valley heritage advocates recognized for good works

[Source: Lourdes Medrano, Arizona Daily Star] -- Oro Valley today will honor Dick Eggerding and Pat Spoerl as this year's outstanding volunteers.  They each will receive the town's annual Volunteer of the Year Award, given to a man and woman who distinguish themselves for their dedication to volunteer work in the community.  Spoerl and Eggerding have volunteered their time to many causes over the years, sometimes together.  They co-founded the Oro Valley Historical Society with the late Jim Kreigh.   They will receive the award in a 6 p.m. invitation-only reception at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, where town officials will recognize the work of about 400 volunteers.

Spoerl, a retired U.S. Forest Service archaeologist, is particularly known for her efforts to preserve Oro Valley's cultural resources.  Eggerding, who created the town's "Community of Excellence" logo, was instrumental in bringing public art, concerts and art festivals to the town through the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council, which he co-founded with Bob Weede.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Oro Valley seeks volunteers for HP Commission

[Source: Arizona Daily Star] -- Oro Valley is now accepting applications from residents to fill a two-year term on the town's Historic Preservation Commission.  The volunteer commission works to preserve historic buildings, districts, landmarks, structures, documents, photographs and other artifacts related to the development of the greater Oro Valley area.  The group meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of every month at Town Hall, 11000 N. La CaƱada Drive.  Applications are available at Town Hall or online at by clicking on "Town Clerk" and "Boards & Commissions/Volunteers."  The deadline is Jan. 5 to apply for the position.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

PHX11 steps back in history

[Source: City of Phoenix] -- PHX11 takes viewers to historic properties that still impact our city today on the next edition of “Everything Phoenix,” hosted by Sydney Blaine.  Starting with the cemetery at Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, viewers will see the final resting place of notable figures in Arizona history and folklore.  Next, tour one of the most extravagant venues of its day, the Orpheum Theatre, which first opened in 1929.  See the results of the Orpheum’s 12-year restoration project and how the historic theatre reopened adjacent to the newly built Phoenix City Hall. PHX11 brings you back to the present with the story of the McCarty Apartments, developed by Leon McCarty to provide quality housing for the city’s minority residents in 1963.  Learn how the legacy will continue with the redevelopment project that will bring new affordable housing for seniors when the McCarty on Monroe Apartments open in 2010.

The program will air on PHX11 at the following times: 6 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1; 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 10 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3; 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4; 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov.4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4; 2 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5; 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5; 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov.5; and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5.  For additional program replay times, click here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Phoenix's Montgomery House stabilization work begins

Stabilization work has begun on the historic Montgomery House, 7th Avenue and Mohave, in the original Phoenix townsite. Dave Norton, project manager, reports that:
  • The original stucco is being tested for lime/cement content in order to come up with a stucco mix design per historic briefs recommendations. Once the stucco mix is determined, stucco repair will begin.
  • The chimney is being repointed and repaired. Thereafter it will be stuccoed per the original construction.
  • Several adobe bricks have been made from existing material on the site. Once the bricks have cured, adobe repairs will take place.
The project is being undertaken by the Arizona Preservation Foundation and D.L. Norton General Contracting in partnership with the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona Lottery, and private contributors. To support the effort, please contact Lisa Henderson, APF President, at 602-771-1134 or via e-mail.

Historic designation probable for Phoenix nominees

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] -- This week, the Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee will consider two Phoenix nominees for National Registry of Historic Places recognition. The benefit is prestige and a rate cut on the owner's property taxes. La Hacienda Neighborhoods Historic District, with 45 homes near Seventh Street and Thomas Road, and Bragg's Pie Building, 1301 W. Grand Ave., are expected to be approved. A third property, the Lovinggood/Inskeep/Getman House in Sunnyslope, will likely be deemed ineligible for recognition. The home was moved to its present location in 1999, effectively cutting its ties to the history of its original location.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: State Historic Preservation Office.]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Historical Society now owns Wickenburg gravesites

Three years after resident Nicki Hamilton protested the condition of the Henry Wickenburg gravesite, some progress has been made. The town put the hillside cemetery up for auction on Oct. 16, and the Wickenburg Historical Preservation Society was the successful bidder. The deed requires the Society to apply for listing to both State and National Historical Registers, to install security fencing and signage, to restore what is now a dirt walkway, and to perform periodic maintenance. An APS power pole must first be moved from the property because it hinders legal access to the site. That alone will cost close to $8,000. With future support from the Vi Wellik foundation uncertain at this time, the project will need the assistance of many.

Plantings will be added, the walkway should be paved, and some of the graves are worn and need repair. Maintenance volunteers are sought, and an American flag from the period would be appropriate, if it can be located. (Henry Wickenburg died in 1905.) The hill where Wickenburg and some of his friends are buried is located off of Howard Court and Adams Street near Boetto Park. Anyone interested in preserving this important part of Wickenburg history is invited to send a tax-deductible contribution, which may be eligible for a matching grant, to the WHPS, P.O. Box 1341, Wickenburg, AZ 85358. Mark the check for the “Henry Wickenburg Cemetery Project”.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tucson's second-oldest building undergoes repairs, improvements

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- The wood viga and saguaro lath ceilings at the historic La Casa Cordova, 173 N. Meyer Ave., will be visible for the first time in more than 30 years when the second-oldest known building in Tucson reopens to the public, likely in December. La Casa Cordova, built some time before the first Tucson map was drawn in 1862, was closed in June to replace electrical systems, upgrade drainage and make the adobe structure more accessible to the disabled, said Meredith Hayes, spokeswoman for the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, which manages the house. Since Labor Day, a 10- to 14-foot-wide brick walkway has been installed in the courtyard so those in wheelchairs will no longer have to roll through dirt to get to the seven rooms in the L-shaped structure. The bricks cover about one-fourth of the dirt courtyard, and a new rock water catch basin fills one corner in the courtyard.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Val Canez, Tucson Citizen.]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Snowflake Council rehashes historic preservation ordinance

[Source: Donna Rescorla, The Independent] -- Snowflake's proposed historic preservation ordinance was under discussion again at the Oct. 14 council meeting. Town Manager Paul Watson presented a summary of the questions answered by councilors after the previous meeting. Asked whether the town should have an overlay district or just designate specific homes and businesses, all agreed they should have a district but some thought it should only be along Main Street rather than the area that has already been designated a historic district. That district is in the original town site. Most councilors thought property owners in the district should just receive recommendations if they want to change the look of the building or demolish it rather than having them adhere to certain restrictions. "Are we opposing having restrictions at all?" Councilor Charlie Hendrickson asked. "This would have no teeth or little. We need to have stronger control on those buildings that are designated as historic homes." Hendrickson listed the Flake Mansion, Smith Home, Freeman Home and Stinson Museum, saying the town helped pay for renovations on these buildings and continues to pay for their operation and maintenance. Councilor Dean Porter said if the ordinance had no restrictions, they could stipulate that historic homes would have to have any changes approved. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, October 17, 2008

Commentary: Our State Parks are in trouble

[Source: Don Farmer, Arizona Heritage Alliance Board] -- Our Arizona State Parks are in trouble. It seems the current down economy and resulting state budget meltdown has led our elected legislature to strip out most of the State Parks funding and redirect it to more “important” needs. The direct result of this action is the drastic reduction of the services and programs our State Parks provide us. You do not have to be a State Park visitor to be impacted by this loss. The Arizona State Parks Agency manages 27 parks and natural areas located around the state. They also oversee our State Trails system; manage the Outdoor-Related Grants Program, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the Off-Highway Vehicle Program. The folks at Arizona State Parks have been managing all of these lands and programs in an under-funded condition for years as the legislature chose to sweep one revenue source after another from them. Just one year ago, the situation at State Parks was dire; now with the current loss of funding, the entire agency is threatened with catastrophic collapse. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Glendale hosts Catlin Court Historic Home Tour Nov. 8

[Source: KKAT TV] -- Have you driven through the Catlin Court Historic District and wondered what the beautiful bungalow homes looked like inside? Now is your chance to find out! Homeowners will open their doors for the Catlin Court Historic Home Tour on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is only the second time Catlin Court homes have been opened to the public. The tour will feature eleven historic homes in the beautiful historic neighborhood.

History buffs will delight in hearing stories of the neighborhood’s rich and fascinating past, which dates back to 1915. Co-founded by Otto R. Hansen, the neighborhood was named “Catlin Court” for his wife’s maiden name, and was one of Glendale’s earliest residential developments. Additional activities planned during the tour hearken back to Glendale’s earlier days, such as free horse-drawn carriage rides and a vintage car show.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 the day of the event. Tickets are available for purchase at Glendale’s Visitor Center, 5800 W. Glenn Dr., Suite 140, or online at the Catlin Court Website. The Visitor Center will be open that day, welcoming visitors and residents to discover many shopping and dining options in downtown Glendale before or after the tour. For more information, call 623-930-4500.

Four individuals receive coveted Arizona Architect Medals

[Source: Jan Buchholz, Phoenix Business Journal] -- Architects from across Arizona celebrated the 50th anniversary of the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects at the Celebrate Architecture gala Sept. 27. The largest crowd in the group’s history, more than 500, turned out for the event at the Phoenix Arts Museum. “Since this was the 50th anniversary, we decided not to notify the winners ahead of time,” said Tina Litteral, executive vice president of AIA Arizona. “Since (no one) knew who was going to win, I think they were a little nervous.” AIA introduced a new tradition by commissioning artists Gary Beals and Mayme Kratz to create works of art to represent the awards. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Yuma Heritage Area project at halfway point

[Source: Joyce Lobeck, Yuma Sun] -- Even underfunded, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area has transformed eyesores to parks and new development since it was created eight years ago this month. The Hilton Garden Inn and Pivot Point Conference Center (pictured) have risen from bare ground along the Colorado River to serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment of the downtown riverfront, a landfill has become the inviting West Wetlands Park and the 1,418-acre East Wetlands has evolved from a trash-strewn jungle of non-native vegetation into one of the largest and most ambitious restoration projects in the Southwest, said Charles Flynn, executive director. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, October 10, 2008

Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area -- 6th in the West?

[Source: National Trust for Historic Preservation] -- The Santa Cruz Valley borderlands of southeastern Arizona, where Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and American Territorial cultures and traditions have intermingled for centuries, may become the sixth national heritage area in the West. Introduced by U.S. Representatives Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva, the bill creating the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area passed the House of Representatives on October 24, 2007 in a 291 to 122 vote. It was part of broader bipartisan legislation authorizing six new heritage areas in nine states. Supporters of each area include residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and local and state governments.

[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, October 03, 2008

Rehab begins on Florence's historic Silver King Hotel

[Source: Mark Cowling, Florence Reminder] -- Town officials, historic preservation advocates and officials of W.E. O'Neil Construction Company gathered Monday morning to celebrate the beginning of the second phase rehabilitation of the Silver King Hotel at Main and Ruggles streets. Kilvinger and other speakers expressed appreciation for the FPF and IDA for their work over the years to save historic buildings. "Thanks to the IDA, who first made this a historic town, and one of the premier historic towns in the state," Kilvinger said. As for the Silver King, "We will work as hard as we can to make this a success," she added.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Florence Reminder. Pictured: Bonnie Bariola presents Jess Knudson, the town of Florence’s Silver King project manager, with a plaque to display in the finished building.]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Call for historic green buildings to be featured in new book

[Source: Scott Butcher] -- Author Scott Butcher is seeking project submissions for a new book he is writing for Schiffer Publishing. The new book, "Sustainable Historic Buildings" will focus on "green" historic buildings. By their very nature, historic buildings incorporate many of the same features that green designers use today: sustainable sites, natural landscaping, energy efficiency, local materials, etc. While the green building movement has exploded in recent years, only now are owners, designers and contractors turning their attention to the "greenest" buildings of all: ones that already exist. 

As part of the project, Butcher is looking for case studies from across the United States - renovation, expansion, and/or adaptive reuse projects performed on buildings at least 50 years of age. These buildings must be completed, but need not be certified (e.g., LEED, Green Globe, etc.), though certified projects are certainly acceptable and encouraged. All types of buildings will be considered. Click here for additional information and submission guidelines. Submissions are due by December 15, 2008.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tearing Down the Arcadia/Camelback legacy (op-ed)

[Source: Rachel Simmons, Modern Design Diva] -- For many years the residents of Arcadia and Camelback preserved the look and feel of their neighborhood by renovating their homes appropriately and adhering to a compatible design. Recently investors have swooped in, razed and remodeled in speculation, and sold to area newcomers unfamiliar with the community's character. When we tear down one unique home we have we lost irreplaceable features of our city's visual appeal. Little by little Arcadia's modern ranches are being leveled and replaced by homes speaking a completely different language, thus altering the essential story of Phoenix lore the neighborhood of Arcadia has to offer future generations.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Modern Phoenix.]

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Downtown Tucson deal aims to acquire artist space

[Source: Bud Foster, KOLD News] -- "We got empty lots. We got falling down buildings," says Susan Gamble, President of the Warehouse Arts Management Organization. But WAMO is working to change that. There are about 30 old, dilapidated warehouses in downtown Tucson which are owned by the Arizona State Transportation Department. Local artists would like to have those buildings to house their studios. They proposed a deal. The city and state would swap some land in exchange for the warehouses. The city would then deed the warehouses over to the artists. The artists would then start to work. "If we take on all the expense of doing rehab, the work of it, the advertising, it's really a good deal for them (Tucson) because we do a public service and a public good," says Gamble.

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

Catlin Court historic home tour Nov. 8

Saturday November 8th is the 2008 Catlin Court historic home tour in Glendale, Arizona. From Myrtle to Orangewood, 59th Avenue to 57th Avenue. Tour 10 homes from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. There will be carriage rides and vintage cars. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased online at the Catlin Court homepage.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

102-acre Coolidge development near Casa Grande Ruins put on hold

[Source: Sean Higgins, Casa Grande Dispatch] -- Plans for an area development to have residential and commercial buildings near Casa Grande Ruins National Monument were unveiled for the Coolidge City Council, which postponed action on the matter pending decisions on the height of buildings. "This will be a nice addition to Coolidge," Mayor Tom Shope said. If approved, the project would be off North Arizona Boulevard, encompassing about 102 acres. "It will really respond to the needs of the area," Senior Project Manager Nick Labadie of Rose Law Group said Aug. 25. "It will be a great gateway for the city of Coolidge." He said it would "respect the area and heritage of the Ruins." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Efforts to restore Tucson's Valley of the Moon under way

[Source: Ryn Gargulinski, Tucson Citizen] -- Valley of the Moon is still shooting for the moon with the makeover and restoration of the 1920s-era fantasyland. The journey is well on its way, said spokesman Charlie Spillar, and it's not stopping at rebuilding a troll bridge or a rabbit hole at the midtown park. Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road, will be moving into the future with new additions, fresh landscaping and even compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. "The Tucson community is doing amazing things to help restore their treasure," Spillar said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Val Canez, Tucson Citizen. Pictured: A gnome in the Enchanted Garden at Valley of the Moon.]

Florence's Old Silver King Hotel ready to be renovated

[Source: Arizona Republic] -- The town is hoping the historic Silver King Hotel will be ready for an occupant by the end of the year. Twelve contractors have submitted proposals to complete renovations on the hotel, and the town wants an aggressive construction schedule. The hotel was a center of local social life for 100 years until it closed in 1977. The Florence Preservation Foundation bought the building and 12 years ago was awarded a $500,000 federal grant. The money was used to stabilize the building and put on a roof, windows and doors. The town bought the building from the foundation last year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

APF would like to extend a special thanks to our 2008 conference sponsors:

Another of Phoenix's Blaine Drakes bites the dust -- Scoville home

[Source: Modern Phoenix] -- Blaine Drake's Scoville Home in the Biltmore area was leveled to the ground this morning. This is the second Dake home in the neighborhood to be demolished, and only two more in that immediate area survive (that I know of). The original Drake family property nearby still stands. Drake was an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Wisconsin, and established his own Arizona practice in 1945. The property was recently acquired by a new owner this spring.

This home was made of Superlite block and one of the rare examples of a midcentury residential home that was intentionally left unpainted. Homes like this are one inspiration for the sandblasting-back-to-grey trend celebrating "expressed materials" that we see today. The home also features one of Drake's rare and custom round home layouts and a personalized integration of the Superlite and glass block streetscape markers that brand major points of entry into the Bartlett Estates subdivision. The home across the street from it was also recently leveled and now has a McMansion on it. The bitter irony is that writers at ModernPhoenix are currently working on stories about the livability of Drake Homes 50 years later, and also on the teardown trend. The two subjects collided today in yet another heartbreaking loss for Phoenix's history and culture. [Photo source: Modern Phoenix.]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

November 1 deadline for Preserve America Presidential Awards nominations

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is accepting nominations for the 2009 Preserve America Presidential Awards to honor exemplary achievements in historic preservation and heritage tourism efforts involving natural and cultural historic resources.  The deadline for submitting nominations for the highest federal awards honoring historic preservation achievement is November 1, 2008.  The Preserve America Presidential Awards are part of an initiative established by President Bush that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our nation’s cultural and natural heritage assets.  Four Preserve America Presidential Awards are given each year.

The Preserve America Presidential Awards are given to organizations, businesses, and government entities for:
  • exemplary accomplishments in the sustainable use and preservation of cultural or natural heritage
  • demonstrated commitment to the protection and interpretation of America’s cultural or natural heritage assets.
  • the integration of these assets into contemporary community life, and combination of innovative, creative, and responsible approaches to showcasing historic resources in communities.
Click here for the nomination form and guidelines, as well as information on past winners and the overall Preserve America initiative.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Project gathers Scottsdale photos of past for exhibit

[Source: Julie Janovsky, Tribune] -- JoAnn Handley remembers a time when the area now known as Scottsdale Fashion Square was nothing more than dirt roads and rodeo shows. "I could not have imagined 50 years ago Scottsdale could look like this," said Handley, 77, a lifelong resident and manager of the Scottsdale Historical Museum. A new exhibit being planned for this spring at Scottsdale's Civic Center Library will soon give visitors and locals alike a chance to take a deeper glimpse into the city's past. The proposed exhibit will be one of the end results of a new historical archiving project sponsored by the Scottsdale Public Library system that will entail digitizing vintage photos from the collections of the Scottsdale Historical Museum, the Scottsdale Jaycees and the Scottsdale Charros. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Historic neighborhood storm damage in Phoenix

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- The Thursday August, 28, 2008 monsoon hit several of the historic neighborhoods, such as Willo, Coronado, F.Q. Story and Encanto-Palmcroft, particularly hard. Large trees toppled, causing damage to walls, garages and in some cases houses. In one case, an 80-plus year old oak tree fell on top of the historic house at 525 W. Coronado Street, causing the roof structure and front wall of the house to collapse. The Phoenix Historic Preservation Office is working closely with affected historic property owners to expedite the required city historic preservation review for storm repair-related projects to the extent feasible.

Glendale receives accolades for parks programs, people, facilities

[Source:] -- Glendale's programs, people and facilities received awards at the annual Arizona Parks and Recreation Association awards banquet Aug. 27. Two programs, one facility and two people involved with the Glendale Parks and Recreation Department were awarded. The 2008 Community/Neighborhood Special Event Award for Populations Over 100,000 went to GlendOberfest (pictured), the city's annual fall festival. GlendOberfest on Oct. 31, 2007, at Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, encouraged residents to journey back in time to the late 1800s to an atmosphere of Old Towne Glendale with dirt roads, dark and dense citrus groves and old farm houses backlit by the moon and filled with scary shadows moving across the landscape.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Mother Nature's Farm.]

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nogales to save, restore Old City Hall

[Source: Nogales International] -- "This is the only place where you can live in history," said Executive Director Axel Holm as he welcomed visitors to the Pimeria Alta Historical Society Museum on Friday. The museum occupies the Old City Hall building at 136 N. Grand Ave. The occasion was a kick-off for a historical preservation and restoration program sponsored by the City of Nogales. "We will strive to be a great community by initiating and completing the restoration of the city's showcase property, our original city hall," said Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel. The city has painted the outside of the building and will make repairs to the roof and air conditioning, said Nils Urman, community and economic development director. His department will provide signs through a grant from the Arizona Department of Tourism. Nogales Volunteer Firefighters built the original city hall, and the city will work with that group and the Pimeria Alta Historical Society to make the building more functional, Urman said.

Federal grant awarded to digitize historic Arizona newspapers

[Source: Newszap Forum] -- The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records a grant to digitize historic Arizona newspapers. Titled Arizona Newspapers, 1880-1912; Arizona becomes one of only six states and one of only two State Libraries in 2008 to be successfully awarded a grant through this nationwide program. The digitized newspapers will eventually be posted on the Arizona Memory Project website which is hosted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, and also posted on the National Digital Newspapers Project website hosted by the Library of Congress. Both websites are free and publically available. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Arizona Historical Records Advisory Board re-grants program

[Source: Melanie I. Sturgeon, Arizona State Library] -- The Arizona Historical Records Advisory Board (AHRAB) recently received NHPRC funding for a $10,000 re-grant program to preserve and make accessible Arizona's historical records and provide continuing archival education and training.  The State Library will provide matching funds, for a total of $20,000 available for re-grants.

The re-grant project and the goals it represents are prominent in AHRAB's long range plan.  Arizona's re-grant program will help with continuing education for individuals with custody of historical materials and demonstrated need for collections management training.  It will foster preservation, access, and the public and private historical records collaborations and partnerships with others to preserve our documentary heritage. Finally, it will serve under-documented communities.

These funds are only applicable for archival collections and/or records and do not include library books, museum artifacts, building construction, etc.  AHRAB will be holding 6 call-in sessions for anyone who wants more information or has specific questions about what they might be interested in doing:
  • August 27: 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • August 28: 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • August 29: 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Call AHRAB at 602-929-3729 to let them know which session you are interested in participating in.  To participate in the conference call on the specified dates and times, dial 602-926-3738. When prompted, enter the five digit number 19807.  Click here for grant applications on the AHRAB website. Email Melanie Sturgeon with any questions.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cave Creek officials await addition of 4,000 preserved acres

[Source: Curtis Riggs, Sonoran News] -- The possible addition of 4,000 acres of preserved State Trust Land has Town and Maricopa County officials brainstorming about the best ways to incorporate the land into Cave Creek’s other preserved properties and the best ways to manage them. Mayor Vincent Francia is paying close attention to Cave Creek’s attempt to annex 8-square miles of land to the west. He focuses on the 4,000 acres that will be preserved into perpetuity through the annexation. What pleases Francia most about the newest preservation effort is that much of the new 4,000 acres lies between the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and the Cave Creek Recreation Area. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Monday, August 18, 2008

Event Center could add life to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic] -- Pearle Marr's family owned Imperial Lithographics in downtown Phoenix for nearly 40 years. Now Marr and her husband, Malcolm, hope to make another imprint on the changing community. Malcolm and Pearle Marrs, 61 and 57 respectively, are working to make the Fifth Avenue and Madison Event Center (pictured) one of downtown Phoenix's premier spots. When a business decided last year to stop leasing the buildings on the block where Imperial was formerly located, between Jackson and Madison streets and Fourth and 5th avenues, the couple had to decide what they wanted to do with the location. "Two of (the buildings) are historically designated and it was important to us as a family that we do something that will enhance their designation," Malcolm said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Mark Henle, Arizona Republic.]

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fort Verde vandalized again

[Source: Steve Ayers, Bugle] -- For the third time in the last four months, vandals have struck historic Fort Verde State Park. According to Park Ranger Dennis Lockhart, someone sprayed graffiti on the wall of the surgeon's quarters in April. Then in July someone broke out several panes of glass in an old window at the fort's visitor center. Last weekend the same window was broken out again and the air conditioner for the museum and visitor center (pictured) was destroyed. Lockhart estimates the panes of glass cost about $40 each to repair. The air conditioner will have to be replaced, costing an estimated $5,000.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Steve Ayers, VVN.]

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flagstaff's Snowbowl wins latest court fight vs. Navajos

[Source: Michael Kiefer, Arizona Republic] -- A federal appellate court on Friday sided with a Flagstaff ski resort, ruling that its plan for using reclaimed wastewater to make artificial snow does not violate the religious freedom of Native Americans. The ruling sets up a potential showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Arizona tribal leaders, environmental groups and their attorneys pledge to appeal their case. Regardless, there will be no snowmaking at the Snowbowl this winter.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Howard A. Sheldon.]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meeting with Owner of Phoenix's White Gates / Al Beadle House

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- Historic Preservation staff met with Lynda Maze, owner of the house at 4918 E. White Gates Drive, which was designed and occupied by noted modern architect Alfred Newman Beadle. The property was listed on the Arizona Preservation Foundation's list of most endangered places in Arizona, due to the fact that the house is vacant and has been gutted and the lot has been cleared of vegetation. The property has also been cited by the Neighborhood Services Department for property maintenance violations. Ms. Maze recently purchased the house to try to rehabilitate it, and has requested assistance from the Historic Preservation Office. Rich Fairbourn of Build Inc., a former colleague of Beadle, and Peter Wolf, a writer familiar with Beadle's work, also attended the meeting. Mr. Fairbourn will prepare plans for the rehabilitation and provide cost estimates for the work. Ms. Maze will likely submit a grant application and request city historic designation.

Casa Grande council gives land purchase initial OK

[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Dispatch] -- If all goes well, Casa Grande will soon have 120 acres for a regional park on the north side. Monday night, the City Council approved purchasing 100 acres at the northwest corner of Hopi Drive and Pinal Avenue for $4.7 million and accepting a donation of another 20 acres from the sellers, Richard and Robert Linden, whose family has owned the property for years. The Lindens will keep 39.22 acres in the northeast corner of the 160-acre parcel for future development. Final negotiations are under way, Deputy City Manager Larry Rains said, with documents to be available by the time of the next council meeting, when the purchase ordinance must again be considered. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Napolitano honors Greenlee history

[Source: Walter Mares, Copper Era] -- It was history on top of history, and the capacity crowd at the Arizona & New Mexico Railway Station in Clifton loved it, perhaps because they were part of history in the making. It may also be that they had the opportunity to meet Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano up close and personal. She was swarmed by the standing-room-only crowd after the train station ceremony in which she designated the train station and two early 1900s baby gauge steam locomotives as “Arizona treasures.”

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Eastern Arizona Courier.]

Seligman's Harvey House is history

[Source: Mark Boardman, True West] -- In January, we wrote about ongoing efforts to save the historic Havasu Harvey House in Seligman, Arizona. Today, the circa 1905 building is gone, demolished by its owner, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad. For years, the BNSF has wanted to tear down the empty hotel, which closed in the mid-1950s. Local group Friends of Havasu looked for ways to buy it. The railroad offered to donate it to anybody who would move it. Nothing came of the offer, and the Havasu came down in May 2008. The salvaged historic items were given to Seligman Historical Society. Our thanks to Dan Lutzick for the info and picture. Dan is project supervisor for the renovation of the El Garces Harvey Hotel in Needles, California. The $10-million effort includes a restaurant, visitors center, museum and hotel. He hopes to have it finished by the end of this year, just in time to celebrate the building’s 100th anniversary.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Officials recommend historic designation for Tempe Butte

[Source: William Hermann, Arizona Republic] -- The history of Tempe Butte is written in stone, and city officials want to keep it that way, which is why they're seeking a "historic" designation for the site. Tempe Butte is the big desert hill adorned with an "A" that towers over Sun Devil Stadium. It's from the top of that butte that Charles Trumbull Hayden, founder of Tempe, in 1869 looked out on the largely deserted Salt River Valley and decided it would be a good place to settle. The butte also is where the Hohokam Indians lived between about A.D. 500 and 1450. They considered the butte holy and left upon its rocks some 500 petroglyphs.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Mark Henle, Arizona Republic.]

ASU professor's neglect irks Superior officials

[Source: Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune] -- Glenn A. Wilt Jr. has taught scores of Arizona State University students about finance and real estate investment during his 45 years as a business professor. But officials in Superior are puzzled at what guided Wilt to purchase many of the tiny mining town's abandoned theaters, shops and houses only to neglect the structures. The professor has amassed a vast real estate portfolio the past two decades, including most of downtown Superior. But dozens of his buildings are collapsing; a few have become unsalvageable ruins. "He seems to feel these falling-down structures are going to be beautiful someday and that there will magically be the money," said Todd Pryor, Superior's fire marshal.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Jennifer Grimes, Tribune.]

Florence IDA has been marching to its own beat for 40 years

[Source: Daniel Dullum, Florence Reminder] -- Traditionally, IDAs exist solely as fundraising conduits. In 1968, the Florence IDA established its own independent approach that also includes land ownership and involvement in historic restoration. The IDA's list of accomplishments is impressive. It includes restoration of the Suter house, the Brunenkant Bakery building and the building that houses Total Concept. They helped build Jacques Square, financed facades, and helped establish the Townsite Historic District.

And, when McFarland State Historic Park faced closure, the IDA prepared a comprehensive resolution that helped keep the park open in perpetuity. "We've done a lot within that 40 years," Florence IDA president Peter Villaverde said. "I'm sure we've spent close to $2 million for various projects, starting with the Visitor's Center, which is now going to be the Main Street headquarters. "My project is Jacques Square. We purchased that for $20,000, the town participated, the community participated. ... The developer who restored what is now Total Concept was really impressed by what the community can do when working together, and donated the watering system for the trees.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Mark Cowling, Florence Reminder. Pictured: The reconstructed Cosmopolitan Saloon, one of the Florence IDA’s many accomplishments.]

Friday, August 08, 2008

Tombstone's Fremont Street to get new old look

[Source: Julie Ann Marra, Herald/Review] -- Fremont Street is preparing to go back in time. Through a grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation, the city of Tombstone has partnered with several organizations to restore Fremont Street to what it looked like historically. The project aims to place boardwalks, porches, canopies and sidewalks where they are historically appropriate along Fremont between Third Street and Sixth Street. This stretch coincides with Highway 80. “Our mission here is to restore Fremont Street to its original grandeur,” said Tombstone Historic District Commissioner Steve Troncale. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Historic Hittinger building in Downtown Tucson sells for $1.09M

[Source: Daily Star] -- A historic building at 116 E. Congress St. has been sold to apartment management firm Morrison, Ekre & Bart Management Services Inc. for $1.09 million. The property, listed as the First Hittinger Block on the National Register of Historic Places, dates to 1915, according to the Pima County Assessor's Office. The apartment management firm plans to renovate the building and move in by December, said Crystal McGuire, of Buzz Isaacson Realty, who represented the buyer. Previously owned by real estate broker Warren Michaels, the Hittinger building housed an office for architect Rob Paulus, McGuire said. The two-story building has 7,600 square feet, and a 3,400-square-foot basement. [Photo source: Peg Price.]

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Advancing Sustainability Conference in Phoenix, September 5-6

[Source: Green Summit] -- The Advancing Sustainability Conference is the prime educational component of the GreenSummit. This conference covers a variety of topics relating to how the concept of "going green" impacts our region's various industries, the communities we live in, and the natural environment around us. Industry experts, Arizona State University, and our Summit Alliance partners help provide guidance and support to maximize the learning opportunities of this unique and powerful event.

Educational content caters to both business professionals and the general public. The Advancing Sustainability Conference has something for everyone attending GreenSummit. Most of the general level sessions within each conference track are free for all attendees. Beyond the introductory level session, the track becomes more oriented towards professionals wishing to have a deeper understanding of the content. For more information and to register for the conference, click here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Chandler historian gains statewide honor

[Source: Edythe Jensen, Arizona Republic] -- Noel Stowe, a Chandler resident and Arizona State University professor who has been preserving the region's history for more than four decades, has received statewide recognition. Stowe, 66, recently received the 2008 Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award for his years of service as founder of ASU's Public History Program. Although he is involved in numerous state preservation efforts, Stowe gives plenty of time and advice to his home city. A member and former chairman of the Chandler Museum Advisory Board, he helped initiate the city's history kiosk program and is working on design and programs for the new museum.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Tom Story.]

Safford City Council approves fund-raiser for old theatre

[Source: Aimee Staten, Eastern Arizona Courier] -- Nobody knows the ultimate fate of the old Safford Theatre on Main Street, but the City Council was willing to approve a Labor Day fund-raiser to aid in preservation of the building. The city of Safford conducted a study that found the structure unsafe in 2007, and the owners, David and Susan Duros, haven’t yet heard whether a grant to list it as a historic building and fund a historic preservation plan for the crumbling building has been approved. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Thursday, July 31, 2008

National Trust Conference site visit in Phoenix

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- The Historic Preservation Office collaborated with the Greater Phoenix Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Arizona Preservation Foundation to host representatives from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). Phoenix has been selected as a finalist to host the NTHP’s annual conference in 2012, Arizona’s centennial year. A reception with over 60 people in attendance was also held in association with the site visit.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scottsdale Road makeover envisioned in plan

[Source: Brian Powell, Tribune] -- Scottsdale’s signature street should undergo a makeover through downtown with a greater emphasis on pedestrians and bikers, according to the vision of the long-awaited downtown plan released this week. The draft plan gives examples of a future Scottsdale Road with wider sidewalks, trees and landscaping, and then goes a step further with a vision of a strolling covered walkway with columns and cafes. The report states that the primary function of Scottsdale Road should be “downtown-serving” and that there was consensus to make it a more pedestrian-friendly street. But to what extent — and cost — is still to be determined. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Funding ’sweeps’ leave state parks in shambles

[Source: John Collins Rudolf, Zonie Report] -- The steady gaze of Earnest McFarland, who in the mid-20th century served Arizona as a U.S. senator, governor and state supreme court justice, looks down on every visitor to the state park that bears his name, a restored frontier courthouse in dusty Florence, built in 1874. “We will never be perfect in our government, but high ideals can predominate,” reads a brass plaque beneath the portrait, quoting one of McFarland’s favorite sayings.

Yet perfection is hardly the word that comes to mind during a tour of McFarland State Historical Park. Massive cracks stretch from floor to ceiling on more than one of the building’s original adobe walls. A support beam braces a crumbling exterior wall, keeping the wall and sections of roof from collapsing. In another room, which over the years served variously as a jail, county hospital and prisoner-of-war camp, caution tape warns visitors to avoid a gaping hole in the floor. “McFarland did a lot for this state and this community, and I think he would be very saddened if he saw the condition of this building today,” says assistant park manager Terri Leverton. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Monday, July 28, 2008

City of Tucson urged anew to take over, repair old Marist adobe

[Source: Rob O'Dell, Daily Star] -- Racing against a ticking clock, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson is again trying to give the crumbling adobe Marist College building to the city, in hopes it will save the 93-year-old Downtown building from collapse. The diocese and the city have for years had informal negotiations over the three-story building on the northwest corner of the St. Augustine Cathedral square, but neither party wants to pay the $1 million minimum cost to stabilize the building.

Now the diocese has offered to raise about $250,000 toward making the building structurally sound, although the city still hasn't jumped on the deal because of the price tag and the uncertainty of what the building would be used for once it is stabilized. The diocese is also offering to include a portion of the St. Augustine parking lot across from the Tucson Convention Center, according to an e-mail from City Historic Preservation Officer Jonathan Mabry John Shaheen, diocese property and insurance director, said the church does not have the money to stabilize the Marist building, which housed a Catholic school from 1915 to 1968.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Benjie Sanders, Daily Star.]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

20+ historic sites in downtown Tucson vie for facade program

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- More than 20 historic downtown buildings will be evaluated for the city's $530,000 facade improvement program. Property owners from many prominent downtown businesses met the Tuesday deadline to be considered for the program, said Glenn Lyons, chief executive of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. "I'm terribly pleased," Lyons said. "I had no idea we'd have this kind of response." That's because property owners have to make a 50-50 match for the city funding if they are among the four chosen to do facade work. Applicants include Hotel Congress (pictured), Wig-O-Rama, Beowulf Alley Theatre and ArtFare The Muse.

The selection committee headed by Lyons expects to narrow the list by Aug. 1 to eight applicants. They will each be assigned an architect and each be 3 given $7,500 from the program fund to prepare their concept and renovation proposals, which are due Oct 7. The selection committee expects to announce four finalists Nov. 8. City funding could be as much as $125,000 for a corner property and $90,000 for one midblock. "It'll be hard to choose eight and then four," Lyons said. The buildings have to date from before 1948 and must have an original facade that can be restored. The program is limited to buildings on Broadway and Congress and Pennington streets, between Toole and Church avenues, Lyons said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

AZ grants lost due to state budget cuts

[Source:] -- The Arizona State Parks department received 12 grant applications this spring requesting approximately $6.5 million from the State Lake Improvement Fund (SLIF). Unfortunately, because of legislative budget sweeps, those monies must be released to the legislature by August 15, 2008, so the Arizona State Parks Board reluctantly had to release those monies back to the General Fund.

According to Bill Scalzo, Chair of the Arizona State Parks Board, "The State Lake Improvement Fund bill was passed so that tax monies from boat fuel could be used for safety improvements on the lakes, for better law enforcement and boating access. These safety improvements now cannot be made and we are forced to move the money to the General Fund for other uses." "We had no choice but to cancel these grants as the funds were swept from the accounts by the legislature," he said. "The State Parks department has struggled since the last round of sweeps in 2002. At that time the agency was forced to use its capital improvement funds from SLIF ($2.3 million) to operate the parks. Now the parks are facing many crises as the historic structures and the infrastructures at the parks are deteriorating and we can't make any improvements." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Arizona Then and Now" photography collection published

[Source: KAET] -- For his landmark book, "Arizona Then and Now," photographer Allen Dutton traveled across the state to recapture archival images from their exact original location. Watch as early century images transform into contemporary photography. Click here to view some of Allen's photographs. Roll your cursor over the THEN image to reveal the exact location as it is NOW. [Photo source: Allen Dutton. Pictured: Clifton in 2008.]

Monday, July 21, 2008

Buckeye's Ware Building owners proud of restoration

[Source: Cynthia Benin, Arizona Republic] -- Construction on the historic Ware Building in downtown Buckeye is nearing conclusion, and the new exterior looks - well, old. Building owner Jean Faraj and his partner on the project, Buckeye Realtor Karla Walters, have been working since May to restore the structure to its former appearance. The $100,000-plus project is expected to be completed by the end of this week. The oldest portion of the building dates o the early 1910s, when it originated as Buckeye Valley Bank at Monroe and Fourth streets.

Several years later, a man named George Ware added the western section of the building along Monroe, and eventually the spaces were combined to become collectively known as the Ware Building. In its tenure, the space has served as a boot and saddle repair shop, bakery, grocery store, an office for the Buckeye Valley News and, most recently, Fernando's Barbershop. With every business change came more modifications to the original red-brick walls and full windows that had given the space its trademark open, welcoming feel. By the time Faraj took control of the building about six years ago, the brick had been completely covered by drywall and stucco and coated in paint that had long since begun to peel. No business has occupied the space since the barbershop closed four years ago after nearly 60 years.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Karla Walters.]

Pecos Conference in Flagstaff August 7-10

The purpose of the Pecos Conference, as Alfred Vincent Kidder put it in summing up the first such gathering, is to "...bring about contact between workers in the Southwest field to discuss fundamental problems of Southwestern prehistory; and to formulate problems of Southwest prehistory; to pool knowledge of facts and techniques, and to lay a foundation for a unified system of nomenclature." Deliberately informal, the Pecos Conference affords Southwestern archaeologists a superlative opportunity to talk with one another, both by presenting field reports and by casual discussions. It is a chance to see old friends, meet new ones, pick up fresh information, organize future conferences, and have a great time. In recent years, Native Americans, avocational archaeologists, the general public and media organizations have come to play an increasingly important role, serving as participants and as audience, to celebrate archaeological research and to mark cultural continuity. For more information on the Pecos Conference, click here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grand Canyon Railway works toward 'green' goal

[Source: Patrick Whitehurst, Williams News] -- A number of unique challenges lay ahead for Xanterra Parks and Resorts when it comes to moving forward with the company's plan for "going greener," according to Xanterra's environmental coordinator Morgan O'Connor. While Xanterra itself may be notable among companies with a good track record in terms of good environmental practices, that practice is a little more difficult when it comes to the Grand Canyon Railway, where just the nature of the business lends itself to oil, grease and other environmental hurdles.

O'Connor spoke to members of the Williams Rotary Club during their regular meeting July 3. "The railroad application is a dirty application," O'Connor said. "There's a lot of grease, oil that spews everywhere. There have been great strides prior to me coming aboard to make the steam locomotive and the diesels more efficient, getting more miles per gallon. I'm quite impressed with the ability and the skill there over at the locomotive shop to try to move in that direction." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Group seeks help touting trail to Grand Canyon

[Source: Erin Zlomek, Arizona Republic] -- The non-profit Western Trails Association made a pitch to the Surprise City Council last week for cross-promotional cooperation, donations and spots on a city-operated TV channel to make a scenic heritage trail reality. The group is in the process of filing for 501(c)(3) status with the goal of mapping out a scenic heritage trail from Surprise to Grand Canyon National Park. The group's goal is to generate state tourism grants, then market the trail in a similar fashion to historic Route 66 through Arizona.

Association leader Marianne Archibald said she envisions a backroads driving trail winding north from Surprise, with suggested stops at historic Arizona landmarks and museums before landing tourists at the famous gorge. Most tourists now take Interstate 17 north from the Phoenix metro area to the Grand Canyon, bypassing many of the state's off-the-beaten-path attractions and sometimes forcing them to make day trips of what could be overnight stays that are of more benefit to towns along the way.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Kirk Johnson.]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Peoria's downtown revitalization plan gets approval for more focused update

[Source: Carolyn Dryer, Peoria Times] -- When Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen (pictured) brought another update contract to city council, there were questions about the continuous study of downtown Peoria. He referenced the 1999 Central Peoria Revitalization Plan, saying the city was approaching the plan's 10-year anniversary. Van Nimwegen said what was hoped for was a new look at the plan and a new study that would incorporate more private funding in the downtown revitalization process. He also pointed to the accomplishments downtown in the past 10 years.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Peoria Times.]

Sept. 9 course in Phoenix: "Green strategies for historic buildings"

[Source: Carol Griffith, Arizona State Parks] -- The destruction of an existing building and the procurement and transport of materials to build a new building is less energy efficient (uses more energy and resources) than making an existing building more energy efficient. The State Historic Preservation Office is partnering with the National Preservation Institute to have a course taught in Phoenix on “Green Strategies for Historic Buildings,” September 9, 2008. AIA credits will apply. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Douglas community works to preserve once beautiful theater (op-ed)

[Source: Bonnie Henry, Daily Star] -- I see a ruin — a gutted, roofless shell. They see progress — and a dream that refuses to die. In 1919, the Grand Theatre — billed as the finest theater between San Antonio and Los Angeles — opened in the mining town of Douglas. Managed first by Greek immigrant James Xalis, and soon after by his nephew, Daved Diamos, the theater seated 1,600 and boasted a marble lobby, a pipe organ and ladies' tea room.

Pavlova and Ginger Rogers danced on its stage. John Philip Sousa performed here. For decades, graduating classes at Douglas High School held commencement exercises here. And then, as is the history of so many grand, old theaters, it fell into disuse and eventual abandonment. It closed in 1958. According to the Theatre's website the roof collapsed in 1976. Trees eventually sprouted among the fallen timbers — too heavy to be removed. Water pooled on the auditorium floor. An owl took up residence, feasting on the pigeons inside. In 1983 the all-volunteer Douglas Arts and Humanities Association formed to save the building from slated demolition. By then, the theater had been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Douglas Arts and Humanities Association.]

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A message from the APF President

APF has just returned from our 6th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Rio Rico and we couldn't be more excited with the outcome. Thank you to all who attended! This year's theme, Preservation on the Line, drew a large crowd. We hosted more than 270 planning officials, preservation advocates, and citizens from across the state. Our Governor's Honor Awards Luncheon saw record attendance numbers. Ten excellent restoration projects and the people who made them happen were honored. APF would like to congratulate this year's award winners, including the 2008 Grand Award Winner, the Curley School Restoration in Ajo. Click here to view detailed descriptions and photos of the 2008 award winners. And make sure to check the APF website for information on next year's Historic Preservation Conference at the Hyatt in Phoenix.

APF would like to extend a special thanks to our 2008 conference Sponsors:

Arizona Lottery
Archeological Consulting Services, Ltd.
SWCA Environmental Consultants
Statistical Research, Inc.
Kimley-Horn and Associates
DL Norton
Gammage & Burnham
Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico
Gila River Casino
Ballard Spahr
City of Tucson
Option II Advisors

Gregory C. Michael

State rejects historic status for Page Springs Road in Cornville

[Source: Jon Hutchinson, Verde News] -- Page Spring Road does not meet the standards necessary to be designated historic by the state. That was the disappointing verdict received Wednesday by the Cornville Community Association and the Cornville Historical Society. But, it is not clear that the local organizations are after the same outcome as the state advisory board. Chairman for the Parkways, Historic, Scenic Advisory Committee, Leroy Brady told the crowd after the Advisory Commission turned down the application on a 3 to 4 vote, that "this may open other doors." Deana King, chairman of the Cornville Community Association said, "It is disappointing, because we worked so hard and we followed every criteria, we put two and a half years into this project."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Verde News.]

Phoenix's A.E. England Building historic preservation bond request

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- The Historic Preservation Commission recommended approval to allocate $588,426 of Historic Preservation Bond funds to the A.E .England building, 424 N. Central Avenue, to serve the new Downtown Civic Space. These funds were delineated as a line-item in the 2006 Historic Preservation Bond Program. The funds will be used to rehabilitate the exteriors and perform structural repairs to the 1926 historic auto dealership building.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Scottsdale's Kerr Center gains historic status

[Source: Julie Janovsky, Tribune] -- The Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale will finally take its place on Scottsdale’s historic register. After months of negotiations between Arizona State University and the city, the Scottsdale City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved to accept a historic conservation easement that will protect the exterior of the center's two adobe buildings and less than one-third of the property's 1.65 acres, for the next 50 years.

Advocates for the nearly 50-year-old cultural center at 6110 N. Scottsdale Road - which philanthropist Louise Lincoln Kerr willed to ASU upon her death in 1977 - said the easement was a step in the right direction, but could be stronger. Submitting a petition bearing nearly 1,000 signatures supporting the conservation easement to the council, Patricia Myers, co-chairwoman of the Concerned Citizens for the Kerr Cultural Center group, told council members she feels ASU could do more. "We support the City Council's vote in favor of the conservation easement. But we would like to see future discussions that would add the entire acreage willed to ASU and its specific usage as a cultural center," said Myers.

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

Future 'Megapolitan' area will take in tri-cities

[Source: Cindy Barks, Daily Courier] -- As Arizona's cities continue to grow and meld together into a massive
"Megapolitan," preservation of Prescott's unique features will become even more critical. That was one of the points that prominent Arizona attorney and land-use expert Grady Gammage Jr (pictured) made Monday night in his comments to about 75 people who turned out at the Yavapai College Performance Hall for the latest segment of the 2050 Visioning planning effort's series of speakers.

Gammage, who helped to author the recently released Morrison Institute report, "Megapolitan - Arizona's Sun Corridor," focused on the study's premise that Arizona's major cities would continue to grow together in coming decades. By about 2035, Gammage predicted that the population corridor would form one major "Megapolitan" that would include six Arizona counties and would stretch northwest from Sierra Vista near the Mexican border, ultimately encompassing Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott, and Chino Valley. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]