Monday, March 31, 2008

Phoenix boasts 3 new pride points

[Source: Connie Cone Sexton, Arizona Republic] -- Phoenix is getting three new Points of Pride -- two more than usual in a city contest held only once every four years. The Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, Arizona State University West, and Burton Barr Central Library were close enough in votes that members of the Phoenix Pride Commission decided Wednesday all three should receive the honor.

The sites were among 10 finalists in the contest that ended March 20. The three sites will be added to the current list of 30 Point of Pride sites. The designation is given to a landmark or attraction unique to and located within Phoenix that evokes a sense of pride among area residents. The registry began in 1992. A total of 12,476 votes were cast. The Cutler-Plotkin center received the most votes, with 20 percent. ASU West was second, with 17 percent, and the Burton Barr library had 15 percent. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A message from the President

March is an exciting month for the Arizona Preservation Foundation. Not only has the call for nominations for the Governor’s Preservation Honor Awards been announced, but registration for our June 12th – 14th Conference in Rio Rico is now open. This year's conference, Preservation on the Line, is being held at the Esplendor Resort, just 40 miles south of Tucson. The goal of the Conference is to bring together preservationists from around the state and Southwest to exchange ideas and success stories, share perspectives and solutions to preservation issues, and foster greater cooperation among the diverse preservation community. Click here to learn more about the Conference and to register. For information on this year’s Keynote Speaker, James Howard Kunstler, click here. To download a nomination form for the Governor’s Honor Awards, click here.

Also in March, the Arizona Preservation Foundation, Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, City of Phoenix, and Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau submitted a bid to host the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2012 National Preservation Conference in Phoenix. Thanks so much to the individuals and organizations listed below for providing letters of support. Sally Forrest, Director of National Accounts at the Convention & Visitors Bureau, stated she has not worked on a national conference before with such passionate supporters!

Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture, Arizona Archaeological Council, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizona Historical Society, Arizona Humanities Council, Arizona Lottery, Arizona Preservation Foundation, Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, ASU College of Public Programs, Capitol Mall Association, City of Chandler Office of Tourism, City of Glendale, City of Mesa Historic Preservation Office, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Downtown Phoenix Public Market, Downtown Voices Coalition, Encanto Citizens Association, F.Q. Story Neighborhood, Highroads Magazine (AAA), Local First Arizona, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix Community Alliance, Phoenix Historic Districts Coalition, Phoenix Magazine, Roosevelt Action Alliance, Salt River Project, The Honorable Phil Gordon, Mayor, City of Phoenix, and The Honorable Terry Goddard, Attorney General, State of Arizona. (29 total to date)

Between now and our state's Centennial year, we're sure you'll agree that the preservation ethic in our Capital City and statewide will be even stronger, and that many more historic preservation stories can and will be told to the 2,500-plus preservation advocates who will descend on the Valley of the Sun in the fall of 2012 from all across the country. While we have you "on the line," here are a couple other tidbits for you:

* April 4, 2008 is the deadline to submit nominations for the Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Awards. Complete details at:

* April 5-6, 2008 is the 4th Annual Modern Phoenix Expo and Home Tour, "Progress + Preservation," at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Expo) and Charles and Arthur Schreiber's Village Grove in Scottsdale (tour). Complete details at: email with your name, organization, and day phone. Cost is $50 per person.

* October 21-25, 2008 is this year's National Preservation Conference, "Preservation in Progress, in Tulsa, OK. Complete details at:

Be sure to register for the APF Conference, Preservation on the Line, before April 15th to receive the discounted registration rate. Hope to see you there!

Gregory C. Michael

Restoration plans for Tempe's Hayden Flour Mill unveiled

[Source: Garin Groff, East Valley Tribune] -- Generations have come to know the concrete outside of the Hayden Flour Mill without appreciating the arguably more interesting milling equipment inside it or a stone arch hidden beneath it. But a redevelopment will begin in June to restore the iconic mill - and to reveal rarely seen equipment and stonework that's been out of view for most of the last century. Tempe-based Avenue Communities unveiled plans Tuesday, pledging to start work that Tempe and other developers have failed to get under way since talks began in 1990. Avenue expects it will take 14 to 15 months to restore the mill, add a glass-and-steel structure beside it and open about six restaurants, bars and boutiques.

A stone arch and waterway will become an entrance after spending decades under dirt - hidden so long that many feared the 1890s-era stonework had been destroyed. But as archaeologists explored the site in the past year to look for relics from Hohokam and European settlers, they discovered that stonework was undamaged since its burial in the 1920s. "This was a complete and absolute surprise," Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said. Hallman has made historic preservation a top priority and gave tours of the site Tuesday. With him was Ken Losch, a principal of Avenue Communities who said the old arch will help create a sense of place that's rare in the Valley. He stood in the arch and cited it as one of the mill's most intriguing features. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Naco visionaries banking on community’s rich history

[Source: Ted Morris, Herald/Review] -- This tiny border community is full of possibilities when it comes to tourism and other recreational attractions. Mexican Revolution. Buffalo Soldiers. Civilian Conservation Corps. Mammoth kill site. Port of entry. RVs. Golf. “It’s got it all,” said Rebecca Orozco, the director of Cochise College’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Orozco is one of the organizers of this coming Saturday’s planning charrette for the Naco community. “Anyone interested in Naco’s future” is invited to attend. Billed as a “ ‘roll-up-the-sleeves’ participatory design process,” the charrette will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Naco Elementary School, 1911 W. Valenzuela St.

“Charrette,” a French word for “cart” or “chariot,” is a term that was used by architecture students in Paris in the 19th century who worked intensely, up to the last minute, even as they rode in carts to their design presentations. In the summer of 2006, Bisbee underwent a charrette that was considered by many to be successful in providing a sailing chart for that city. The Naco Planning Charrette will coincide with the second day of another historic occasion for the community — the Turquoise Valley Golf Course’s celebration of its century of existence. Several things are happening lately with Naco, and the charrette will be an opportunity to discuss these developments. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Sierra Club opposes Barbara Antonsen Memorial Park in Sedona

[Source: Sierra Club Sedona-Verde Valley Group] -- The Sierra Club Sedona-Verde Valley Group opposes transfer of the AZ Heritage Fund Grant monies to rebuild the ”re-born” 600+ capacity Cultural Center at Posse Grounds Park. We are opposed to the construction of the proposed Cultural Center at Posse Grounds Park for the following reasons:


This property was proactively cleared of smaller plants in mid-Fall, 2007 just before the “area of construction” was outlined and a pole denoting height of structure were installed. Twenty large mature pinions and junipers and almost as many large (5’) native shrubs (Manzanita, live Oak) would have to be removed for the construction further degrading the site. Although the “Friends of Posse Grounds Park, Inc.” (“Friends”) have maintained that the trees could be transplanted; checking with local arborists suggests that the transplant success rate even under the best conditions would be far less than 50%. This Park is also already overused and overbuilt with 16 playing fields, West Sedona elementary school, a teen center, skate park, dog park, community swimming pool and popular hiking trails - and insufficient parking (less than 140 parking spaces). It is also not directly accessible from a major highway (as the first Center was) without first traversing contiguous neighborhoods.

City of Sedona money mismanagement; lack of city skills; and coercive behavior toward residents

The City has an obvious lack of skills to oversee, maintain, and run such a venue; we note the failure of the City to properly manage and ensure the Heritage Fund grant funds before its release to a non-profit organization responsible for building and operating the Sedona Cultural Park, and subsequent bankruptcy of the non-profit resulting from the City’s lack of oversight – notably Public money mismanagement. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A tribute to Buffalo Soldiers

[Source: Sam Lowe, Arizona Republic] -- The monument is an 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a Buffalo Soldier in period dress, holding a rifle in one hand and a saddle in the other. The work traces its origins to the early 1970s, when Spec. 4 Clarence E. Wilson Jr. embarked on a personal mission to honor African-American soldiers who had been stationed at Fort Huachuca. Wilson, a social worker in the fort's drug- and alcohol-abuse center, worked tirelessly in his off-duty hours to establish a course on Black history, acquire Black heritage literature for the post libraries and start the campaign to erect the statue. But Wilson left the post before accomplishing the mission, so Col. Arthur Corley, then the garrison commander, assigned the project to the Fort Huachuca Historical Museum.

Staff artist Rose Murray was given the task of designing the sculpture, and she attended advanced sculpture courses at the University of Arizona while creating several wax models of the soldier. Once the final model was ready, the garrison ran into funding problems. There wasn't enough money to cast the bronze, but a firm in Tucson accepted the work at a bargain price. Further cost reductions were achieved by scaling down the statue's size and by melting down brass scrap from Army stocks. When the work was completed, there was the problem of finding a vehicle capable of transporting it from Tucson to the fort. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix's Hunt’s Tomb meeting, Papago Park

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- HP and Parks staff met, along with a representative from the State Historic Preservation Office, at the site of Hunt’s Tomb in Papago Park to discuss possible rehabilitation work to the 1930s high-profile pyramidal memorial which is in deteriorating condition due to a 1960s outer tile layer which is detaching from the monument and causing some water damage to the structure. Site improvements to improve access, seating and lighting are also proposed. Some private funds are available for the project, but additional funds will be needed to complete the project. It was determined that the City would pursue additional funding, including state centennial related grants, and would more fully investigate the possibility of restoring the original tile exteriors of the monument (now buried underneath a 1960s deteriorated outer layer).

Monday, March 24, 2008

San Pedro River valley spared as site of proposed I-10 bypass

[Source: Arthur H. Rotstein, Associated Press] -- Arizona transportation officials will continue planning for a possible Interstate 10 bypass around Tucson and Phoenix but have dropped proposed routes through the environmentally sensitive San Pedro River valley. The state Transportation Board unanimously approved a motion dropping the two potential San Pedro River valley routes east of Tucson during a meeting here today. They were among four being studied to allow cross-country trucks and other long-distance traffic to skirt Tucson. Supporters say bypasses around Phoenix and Tucson are needed to handle the state’s long-term needs and avoid traffic bottlenecks in metro areas. Opponents say a bypass is unnecessary, too costly and that some of the routes would damage sensitive areas.

Sharlot Hall portrayer plans appearance in Sun City West

[Arizona Central] -- Jody Drake, a Prescott native, has won many awards over the past 10 years for her portrayal of Sharlot Hall. The Sun Cities Area Historical Society is pleased to bring her to Sun City West through a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council. Drake will perform at 1p.m. Friday March 28th at Heritage Traditions, 19303 New Traditions Way, Sun City West. The public is invited to this free presentation.

Sharlot Hall was an unusual woman of the frontier. Her family moved to Arizona when she was 12, and she grew up on an isolated ranch. She had a knack for poetry and a keen interest in collecting stories of other pioneers. Her interest in history led to her being appointed territory historian in 1909. In 1927, Hall moved her extensive collection of artifacts and documents into the Old Governor's Mansion and opened it as a museum. After her death in 1942, a historical society continued to build the museum complex in Prescott that bears her name.

Drake has performed as Sharlot Hall for Gov. Janet Napolitano, former Gov. Jane Hull and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, among others. She has been nominated for the Governor's Art Award six times, and is honored to be one of 10 Arizona Culture Keeper award winners for 2007. For more information, call the historical society at 623-974-2568 or 623-975-1815.

Lawmaker hopes to revive bill calling for off-highway vehicle fee

[Source: Danile J. Quigley, Cronkite News Service] -- A state representative pushing for legislation that would make off-highway vehicle owners pay a registration fee said Thursday he can still prevail despite the bill's defeat in a Senate committee. "It's not over until the fat guy shaves his beard, and I'm growing my beard back," said Rep. Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale, who was clean-shaven after sporting a beard. HB 2573 would create a $20-25 fee for each off-highway vehicle to maintain and build trails, restore damaged areas, educate riders and provide more law enforcement. It also would make certain activities misdemeanors, including driving off paths in a manner that damages wildlife, property or natural resources. A bipartisan group of co-sponsors and a diverse coalition ranging from off-roading groups to environmental organizations supported the bill, saying it would help protect landscapes and preserve the pastime in Arizona. The bill failed Wednesday in the Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee on a 3-3 vote. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Casa Grande Main Street group, Central Arizona College want you to take online survey

[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Dispatch] -- The Casa Grande Main Street program has teamed with Central Arizona College to do a survey of residents on what they like or don't like about the historic downtown area and what they would like to see there. "The purpose of all of this was to help the downtown determine where we should be advertising, how people are coming downtown, what'd they'd like to see downtown, what kind of businesses they'd like to see downtown," Main Street Executive Director Marge Jantz told the Central City Redevelopment District Subcommittee during Tuesday's meeting.

"We had the opportunity to take this through the business department at the college. It's their final semester, they've been studying business planning and development, and they've also brought Bill Brown in as their computer guru. He's helped students with the survey." Jantz said the survey will be taken through April 20, after which students will tabulate the results and return them to Main Street and downtown businesses. Click here to take the survey.

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

APF's Heritage Preservation Awards tout outstanding achievement

[Source: Florence Reminder] -- The Arizona Preservation Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office are seeking nominations through April 4 for the Governor's Heritage Preservation Awards to be presented at a luncheon ceremony June 13 at the Sixth Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference, "Preservation on the Line." Each year, 10 awards are given to individuals, businesses, organizations and projects in recognition of outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona's prehistoric and historic treasures. Nominations are being accepted for:

  • Projects: restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization/residential, commercial, or public
  • Individuals: for a singular or lifetime contribution
  • Businesses that have shown outstanding professionalism or skill
  • Organizations or communities: recognizing their contribution to preservation efforts
  • Education programs or activities aimed at increasing awareness of prehistoric and historic resources.

"This is an excellent way to call attention to the hard work that our partners in the community are doing to preserve the state's historic resources," said Greg Michael, president of the Arizona Preservation Foundation. "In a state growing as quickly as Arizona, it is crucial that we work to maintain ties to our past and too often, the hard work of preservation goes unheralded. It is a pleasure for us to celebrate outstanding work." A panel of judges representing the fields of archaeology, architecture, history, and preservation will review the nominations. The 10 winners will be chosen and announced before the conference. A Grand Award winner will be chosen from among the 10 Honor Awards.

Click here to download a nomination form and submission requirements. Completed nominations and support material must be received close of business Friday, April 4, 2008, to Eric Vondy, SHPO/Arizona State Parks, 1300 W. Washington St., Phoenix AZ 85007. Submissions transmitted via fax or e-mail will not be accepted. Click here to view past Honor Award recipients. "Preservation on the Line" will be held June 12-14 at the Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico. The conference will bring together more than 300 people interested in current topics in preservation. Proceeds from the event benefit the Arizona Preservation Foundation. Registration information is available online. For more information about the Arizona Preservation Foundation, its goals and its mission, click here. [Photo: Last year's Grand Prize Award Winner, Karlson Machine Works Buildings/Southwest Cotton Company in Phoenix.]

Planning meeting held for 2009 historic preservation conference in Phoenix

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- HP staff met with the State Historic Preservation Office to begin planning for the Statewide Historic Preservation Conference slated for Phoenix in June of 2009. The conference will be located downtown, and will highlight Phoenix historic preservation projects through tours, workshops and educational sessions. There will also be special workshops geared to local property owners, architects and developers, covering topics such as financial incentives, technical issues and federal historic preservation compliance.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fight to protect Scottsdale's Kerr Cultural Center continues

[Source: Kathy Howard, Concerned Citizens for the Kerr Cultural Center] -- The next important meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10, when the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Commission meets. The location will likely be One Civic Center, 7447 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale (the site of previous meetings). Please plan to attend, fill out a comment card, and speak if you'd like.

Last Thursday's Historic Preservation Commission meeting focused on the "final draft conservation easement" agreement proposed between the city of Scottsdale and Kerr's owner, ASU. The draft would protect only the two historic buildings and immediate grounds. More than 70 supporters attended the 90-minute discussion; more than 20 spoke fervently in favor, including musicians, Kerr and Lincoln family members, community leaders, and preservation advocates. The speakers repeatedly asked that three provisions be added to the agreement: the adjacent parking lot, KCC's continued use as a performance venue, and preservation of the interior. Many speakers echoed the powerful mantra that "ASU should do the right thing." Because citizens rarely attend these meetings, the Commission saw vividly that Kerr supporters are serious about preserving the Kerr Cultural Center under the terms and conditions Louise Lincoln Kerr spelled out in her will.

The Commissioners discussed and agreed not to vote approval of the “final draft." Instead, the Commission instructed city staff to further negotiate the easement to add usage, parking lot, and interior protection. (Concerned Citizens for the Kerr Cultural Center asked for these elements in February, but city staff added only the Rose Lane/private drive access and 50-year coverage.)

The morning after the meeting, major reportage was printed in the Arizona Republic (daily Valley section, not just Scottsdale zone) and East Valley Tribune. You may view the articles at and

Phoenix's Windsor Square historic home tour April 6

[Source: Windsor Square] -- From contemporary interiors to lush gardens to the latest in transitional styles, one of North Central Phoenix’s most sought-after historic neighborhoods opens its doors to the public in its 6th biennial Historic Home and Garden Tour on Sunday, April 6, 2008. The self-guided tour, featuring homes dating from 1929, will show a wide variety of residential architectural designs, ranging from early period revival styles to post-war ranch homes. Twenty-percent of the proceeds from the tour will benefit Central Arizona Shelter Services.

Phoenix Mayor, Phil Gordon, a Windsor Square resident, will be in attendance to tour homes. The event will feature fine arts and crafts vendors, live music, historic home restoration products and consultants, and refreshments. The 260-home Historic District, bordered by Central Avenue and Seventh Street, Pasadena Avenue and Oregon Avenue, was considered the first suburb of Phoenix. Started in 1929, it featured curved streets with charming homes created during a time when the population of Phoenix was about 70,000 and the northernmost reach of the trolley line was Thomas Road. Tickets will be available on the day of the home tour at Medlock and 2nd Street (one block east of Central, north of Camelback Road). Free on-street parking will be available. For more information, or to advertise, please email Windsor Square.

Congress moves closer to preserving Western beauty

[Source: Faye Bowers, Christian Science Monitor] -- This swath of desert is in full bloom. The mountainsides blanketed by towering saguaro forests are now dotted with yellow and orange Mexican poppies, purple lupine, and white chicory. The monument is home to three wilderness areas and two historic trails. These 487,000 acres sit along a corridor between Arizona's two largest metropolitan areas, Phoenix and Tucson, where demographers predict the population will increase from 5 million people to more than 10 million by 2040.

That's a key reason, many conservation and wildlife advocates say, Congress should permanently designate this national monument and more than 800 additional federally managed properties as the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The House Natural Resources Committee moved toward that Wednesday, voting the National Landscape Conservation System Act out of committee. The bill can now be scheduled for a vote by the full House. The Senate, meanwhile, is ready to vote on a similar bill. "Congress … took a major step toward permanently recognizing the National Landscape Conservation System," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a statement. "These places are living history books of the American West, and by unifying them into a single system under the [Bureau of Land Management's] careful management, we are ensuring that these irreplaceable treasures ... are preserved for future generations." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

May 6th lecture in Phoenix: "The role of historic preservation in sustainable development”

Donovan Rypkema, Principal of Place Economics and nationally-renowned speaker and consultant on historic preservation issues, will address “The Role of Historic Preservation in Sustainable Development” at a luncheon on May 6, 2008 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Phoenix's historic Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. This kick-off event to National Historic Preservation Month in Arizona is hosted by the Capitol Mall Association, City of Phoenix, Arizona Department of Commerce, Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, and Arizona Preservation Foundation. All advocates for Arizona's heritage and sustainability are encouraged to attend and showcase, on available display tables, your efforts to foster a more sustainable Arizona. To RSVP or for more information, contact Kay Jerin by email or phone at 602-340-0745. Please include your name, organization, and day phone. Cost is $50 per person.

A Phoenix man scored when he bought Ralph Haver's family home for a song

[Source: Robrt L. Pela, New Times] -- At last, there's a reason to be glad for the crummy housing market here, and for the lack of awareness among Phoenicians about our local architectural history. Both of these misfortunes led Brad Jannenga to a formidable real estate score when he recently bought architect Ralph Haver's old house over on 11th Place for a measly $164,000. That's a better-than-decent price for any midcentury block home here, but the house Jannenga bought isn't just one among the thousand or so homes designed and built by Haver, a pioneer of modern tract housing in Arizona in the 1950s. This is the house that Haver built in the 1940s for his own family.

His career was just getting going, but Haver's clean lines, exposed masonry walls, and narrow casement windows were already in evidence in this now-historic prototype, which is in pretty rough shape after decades as a rental property. "That little half-wall Haver always did between the kitchen and the family room is in this house," Jannenga told me. "You could see he was trying out his designs here, messing with the triangular-shaped windows, the bigger window frames, the simple-span roofline. You can see the seeds of his work all over this place." Not all of those seeds were well-sown, as Haver hadn't yet gotten the kinks quite worked out in his signature design. The added-on third bedroom off the dining room is oddly placed, and there's a peculiar bump-out in the front façade that serves no purpose; it appears to be a half-chimney on a home with no fireplace.

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

National Trust for Historic Preservation national conference RFQ - 2012

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, Phoenix Historic Preservation Office] -- HP staff coordinated with representatives from the Greater Phoenix Visitor and Convention Bureau, Arizona Preservation Foundation, and State Historic Preservation Office to respond to a RFP from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for Phoenix to host the 2012 National Preservation Conference. Staff identified possible historic venues for events and tours, summarized local historic preservation accomplishments, and provided other supporting materials. The conference is very prestigious, would place Phoenix in a national spotlight for historic preservation, and would bring nearly 2,500 attendees to Phoenix in our centennial year.

Efforts started to save Chandler's old water tower

[Source: Edythe Jensen, Arizona Republic] -- The Chandler Historical Society has launched a "save the water tower" campaign to preserve an 88-year-old structure scheduled for demolition. The Bogle water tower at Snedigar Sportsplex is one of the last remnants of what was the town of Goodyear in south Chandler northeast of Alma School and Chandler Heights roads but neighbors have been complaining about its peeling paint.

Jim Patterson, former mayor and historical society president, is asking residents to e-mail the mayor and city council and ask them to stall the demolition. Members of the Bogle family had offered to donate the tower to the city. Spokeswoman Jane Poston said Chandler is interested in the site for a future municipal well but the water tower would need to come down first. For information on the preservation campaign, call 480-782-2717.

Petroglyphs safe as spray paint removed from Tempe's Hayden Butte

[Source: Emma Breysse, ASU Web Devil] -- Tempe residents may be relieved that Native American petroglyphs threatened by an alleged UA prank are safe, but many are annoyed that at least $10,000 of their tax dollars were spent keeping them that way. This week the work to save the glyphs is considered virtually complete, allowing the city to arrive at an estimate of the final price tag. Workers have spent more than a year removing spray paint from "A" Mountain after a prank stemming from a football rivalry.

The evening before the November 2006 football game between ASU and UA, vandals believed to be UA students trespassed on the north side of "A" Mountain and spray-painted a red "A" — endangering ancient Hohokam petroglyphs. Investigation at the time revealed several empty beer bottles, but no suspects — meaning the city of Tempe bore the cost of removing the paint without damaging the glyphs. "We have no evidence of who did it," said Tempe spokeswoman Nikki Ripley. "So the city can't approach anyone [about paying for the project], and no one has approached us."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Andrea Bloom, State Press.]

Why the arts are good business for Tucson

[Source: Roberto Bedoya, Tucson Citizen] -- The Tucson area's rich arts and cultural assets make our community unique and contribute greatly to our economy. Those resources must be preserved, protected and enriched. That's the aim of our new Pima Cultural Plan, crafted with the involvement of 500 local citizens, as well as artists, arts administrators and civic leaders, after months of intensive study coordinated by the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

Consider what is at stake:

  • The University of Arizona's arts programs, coupled with four of our region's major nonprofit arts groups, have a total economic impact of $96.8 million, a 2001 UA study says.

  • A recent Americans for the Arts study found that 41 small and midsize arts organizations in the Tucson area generate $57.54 million to our economy.

  • Our creative sector accounts for 3.4 percent of all jobs in Pima County, and that sector's job growth rate exceeds the rate for overall employment, an analysis by Mount Auburn Associates says.

  • Experts say our "creative sector" economy is key to attracting a talented, highly skilled and young work force to Tucson.
    While the Tucson area is home to Arizona's first university, first symphony, first opera company and first repertory theater, support for our rich array of cultural and artistic resources remains a challenge.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Historical panel says Scottsdale's Kerr easement plan needs more work

[Source: Lesley Wright, Arizona Republic] -- Scottsdale's Historic Preservation Commission said this week that Arizona State University would have to do a better job on a conservation easement for the Kerr Cultural Center. After listening to artists and residents blast the reputation of ASU for historical conservation, the commissioners delayed a vote for the easement Thursday and sent it back to the negotiating table. "The more we can get into this document the better," said Commissioner Rob Viergutz.

The commission began talks with ASU in January, after the university said the city couldn't legally impose historic zoning on state property. But a score of artists and residents from around the Valley argued that ASU could not be trusted to allow the 50-year-old center to continue its role as an arts venue. That was the intent of composer and arts patron Louise Lincoln Kerr, who bequeathed the site to ASU in 1977, her descendents argued. "It was her wish that this continue in perpetuity," said Dorothy Lincoln Smith, who spoke to her sister-in-law just before her death.

Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble said that ASU has been making it difficult for artists to perform there. "I think it's very clear that ASU is trying to terminate what Louise Lincoln Kerr intended when she donated it," Trimble said. "It's not the ASU I used to know." Paul Berumen, ASU's director of local government affairs, said the proposed easement would guarantee the buildings and that the university has no plans to alter the site at 6110 N. Scottsdale Road. "This easement gets us to the point where we are able to work as partners to protect the site," Berumen said.

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

Phoenix seeks applicants for Artist Storefront Program

[Source: Phoenix Downtown Development Office] -- The city of Phoenix Downtown Development Office is seeking applicants for the Artist Storefront Program, which is designed to increase the number of artist-owned and occupied galleries, stimulate art and arts-related activities, eliminate blight and improve the aesthetics of the downtown area. The program, generally bounded by 19th Avenue to 16th Street and McDowell to Buckeye roads, reimburses property owners up to $100,000 to renovate commercial property for arts-related projects. To qualify for the program, at least 30 percent of building space must be dedicated for arts or arts-related business purposes. Applications and program guidelines may be downloaded at the City of Phoenix website. Completed applications are due by noon on Friday, May 23, 2008 and should be submitted to City of Phoenix Downtown Development Office, 200 W. Washington St., 20th floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003. For more information, call 602-534-9484.

A hands on effort to help preserve historic Camp Naco

Saturday March 29th, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. there will be a Naco Planning Charette to discuss an update of Naco Brownfields project, the creation of a park next to the school with walking/running/biking trail, and the preservation and future of Camp Naco (pictured). Anyone interested in Naco's future should attend. The Charette will take place at Naco Elementary School in Naco. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served. For further information or to join efforts to preserve Camp Naco, contact CNAPC, c/o Professor J.C. Mutchler, University of Arizona South, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. You can also send an email to or contact Rebecca Orozco, Director - Center for Lifelong Learning at 520-515-5382 or email

Phoenix's Hotel San Carlos turned 80 on Sunday

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] -- Like any 80-year-old grand dame, Hotel San Carlos is a lady with a past. It thrived as an air-conditioned love nest for old Hollywood glitterati. It was a backdrop for political powwows and it spent years suffering from neglect. Today, the restored landmark is a refuge for tourists and convention goers. Hotel San Carlos celebrated its eighth decade last week. "It's one of those buildings that has sort of been a kind of litmus of the times, because it's right on 'main street' Phoenix," said Phoenix consultant Scott Jacobson, who once co-owned the hotel's restaurant when it was a popular 1980s political haunt.

On Sunday, the 1928 building was in party mode, said its 83-year-old owner, Greg Melikian (pictured). Copper Door Steakhouse & Saloon, the hotel restaurant, had live jazz and 80-cent drink specials. Melikian and docents offered free hotel tours. During the rest of the month, more free groups tours are available by appointment, Melikian said. "This was Phoenix's first high-rise, air-conditioned, elevator building," said Melikian, who loves to share hotel lore about celebrity guests such as Mae West, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Marilyn Monroe. "Then, seven stories was a high-rise," he said. "Now, it's a baby."

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

Despite budget shortfall, Senate plans centennial bash

[Source: Howard Fischer, Tribune] -- Arizona's dire financial picture is not dulling plans by lawmakers to throw a party for the state's 100th birthday. The state Senate refused Thursday to take back $2.5 million it had set aside last year for a centennial celebration. In fact, lawmakers even voted to ease the restrictions they had originally put on the funds. Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, said his colleagues are ignoring fiscal reality. "We're in a budget crisis," he said, with the official deficit this year at $1.2 billion and estimates suggesting it could be $200 million more than that. And the financial picture looks even worse next year with a potential $2 billion gap between revenue and expenses.

"We don't have money to spend on parties most Arizonans will not be able to attend," Gould said. Lawmakers set aside $2.5 million two years ago for the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission to come up with plans for celebrating 100 years since the state was admitted to the union on Feb. 14, 1912. Supporters of the plan promised to raise $5 million in matching funds. That, however, has not happened. So SB1337 removes the requirement for the match. Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley, said this isn't as though the Legislature is taking the money from some other program. She said the cash already has been set aside. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Reception at the Phoenix Museum of History Wednesday

On March 19 at 6 p.m. the Phoenix Museum of History will host a reception for community members to learn about the new Friends of the Phoenix Museum of History auxiliary organization. The Friends support the museum's mission to preserve and share the history of Phoenix and the many cultures that have shaped the region through fundraising events and volunteerism. The Friends welcome individuals who are looking to build new friendships, learn about Phoenix history and culture, and serve their community.

The reception will also feature author Al Bates who will be speaking about his new book Jack Swilling: Arizona's Most Lied About Pioneer. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Personal Touch Catering but all guests must RSVP, as space is limited. The reception is free and all guests will also enjoy free admission to the museum galleries after the author's presentation. Anyone interested in joining the Friends will have an opportunity to meet other volunteers and the Museum's Director to ask questions. Joining the Friends is free with museum membership. Friends receive a 20% discount in the museum store, free admission to the museum, invitations to special events and exhibit receptions, and more. To learn more about the Friends of the Phoenix Museum of History or to RSVP for the reception call 602-253-2734 ext. 224. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the Phoenix Museum of History and its programs, click here. [Photo source: Phoenix Museum of History.]

Friday, March 14, 2008

Speaker series to commemorate Phoenix's Carnegie Library

As part of the commemoration of the Carnegie Library's 100 years in Phoenix, the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records has put together a monthly lunchtime speaker series on topics relating to the library and to the history of Phoenix and Arizona. All presentations will last from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., are free and are open to the public.

Mark your calendars for great presentations which include:

  • Thursday, April 17: ONEBOOKAZ 2008 author Nancy Turner and her book "These Is My Words."
  • Friday, May 16: "Women and the Carnegie."
  • Thursday, June 12: Dr. Phil VanderMeer and "Transforming Desert Visions: The Growth of Phoenix, 1860-2006."
  • Thursday, July 17: Dr. Jeremy Rowe, "Postcard Images of Arizona, 1900-1920."
  • Wednesday, August 20: Dr.Matthew Whitaker, "Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West."
  • Thursday, September 11: Dr. Betsy Fahlman, "A Gallop Through the Art History of Arizona."
  • Wednesday, October 8: Dr. Robert Kravetz, "Healthseekers in Arizona."
  • Thursday, November 6: Reba Grandrud, "Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame."
  • Thursday, December 11: Dr. Paul Hietter, "To Encourage the Preservation and Sanctity of Marriage: Victorian Attitudes in Arizona Territory."

The Carnegie Center is located at 1101 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Parking is free or if your downtown you can take the DASH. For more information contact Sarah Weber at 602-926-3368 or by email.

Tucson developer: City rules costing me $12 million

[Source: B. Poole, Tucson Citizen] -- A local developer was poised to sue the city Wednesday, claiming a change in the city building code sucked more than $12 million of value out of 23 midtown properties. The change - which requires, in part, surveys to determine the historic significance of properties targeted for demolition and of ones nearby - applies to homes within the 1953 city limits. It severely reduces property values, developer Michael Goodman said Monday.

"No developer wants to . . . tie up a piece of property that he is going to work on for months and months, expending a tremendous amount of money and effort only to be told that you can't . . . tear it down," he said. Goodman said he thinks the code change was aimed specifically at stopping him and other developers from doing something the city has in other ways encouraged - infill development. The suit is among the first in the state to test the state Property Rights Preservation Act, approved by voters in 2006. The law requires governments to compensate property owners if land-use laws reduce their property's value. Goodman's claim is the second major case in the state to test the act; the first being in Flagstaff, said Clint Bolick, a Scottsdale attorney representing Goodman.

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

Phoenix's Tovrea Castle historic rehabilitation update

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] -- The structural upgrading of Tovrea Castle is in progress, including the addition of new steel members in the first and second floor systems. Staff reviewed the shoring plans for these two floors with the contractor, to ensure that the building remains structurally sound while this work underway, and to minimize impacts to historic ceiling finishes. The project remains on schedule for a late 2008 completion.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Woods pushes quality of life, neighborhood efforts in Tempe

[Source: Garin Groff, East Valley Tribune] -- Corey Woods couldn't muster enough support two years ago in his bid for the Tempe City Council, but said voters nonetheless encouraged him after his defeat. They urged the relatively new Tempe resident to get more involved in community organizations and get to know more people, he said. "People want to see that track record before they put you in a position on the City Council," Woods said.

He's become more visible in the community by joining several organizations and said he's grown as a community advocate. Woods is pushing neighborhood and quality-of-life issues. He laments the loss of independent businesses downtown, saying his office in downtown Phoenix is surrounded by the kind of interesting mom-and-pop shops Tempe should have more of. And several struggling strip malls could thrive with similar merchants, he said. Tempe should attract small merchants across the city, Woods said, by interviewing business owners and asking what the city can do to land them in Tempe. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Historic school in Tucson adds on

[Source: Gillian Drummond, Arizona Daily Star] -- "It's a true passion. It's more than just keeping their property values up," says principal Roseanne De Cesari of what her historic Sam Hughes Elementary School means to its neighbors. So when rumors began to fly around the Midtown community that the school was being expanded, neighbors got interested. And when they learned what was planned, they got worried.

Turn inside to read the tale of neighbors and parents who fought to keep their school architecturally intact, and of how the budget soared to six times its original figure. When pupils and parents hold their annual Chuckwagon event next weekend, the public will be able to see the results for themselves. John O'Dowd remembers well running through the grounds of Sam Hughes Elementary School in the 1940s. Arriving there as a fourth-grader, he went on to see his four children attend the Midtown school and to serve as its parent-teacher association president. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

795-acre purchase in Santa Cruz County protects historic property from development

[Source: Arizona Reporter] -- The Trust for Public Land (TPL), First United Realty, Inc., Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the permanent protection of 795 acres in Santa Cruz County. This is the third and final purchase in a multi-year effort to conserve ecologically significant portions of the historic Salero Ranch.

The property is located in Ash Canyon, just two miles upstream from Patagonia Lake State Park. It will be managed for wildlife habitat by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in cooperation with Arizona State Parks as a part of the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. The property will offer hiking, bird watching, hunting and camping opportunities. This acquisition expands protection of the watershed in an important tributary to Sonoita Creek. The property contains a portion of Ash Canyon, a drainage to Patagonia Lake, and several springs. The largest, called George Wise Spring, contains perennial ponds and riparian forest. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix seeks volunteers

[Arizona Reporter] -- The Arizona Capitol Museum hosts more than 50,000 local, state, national and international visitors each year. Our tour guides have an opportunity to educate and enrich our visitors’ experience by telling the history of Arizona, its people, and its stories. The Arizona Capitol Museum is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to assist with educational programs by leading tours, assisting visitors and working with Museum staff. The Historic Arizona State Capital Museum is located between the current State Legislative House and Senate at 1700 West Washington in downtown Phoenix. The museum entrance is free with additional complimentary parking in Wesley Bolin Memorial Park, on the Capitol grounds. Benefits include exhibition previews, special event presentations and 10% discount in the Museum Store.

Hours of operation are weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Usual tour times are between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Positions are open now for Museum Guides. Training sessions are ongoing and all instruction is provided free of cost. You can volunteer a few hours a month or several hours a week. We invite you to come by the Museum and see what we have to offer. If you would prefer to have a representative of the Museum come and speak to your group about volunteer opportunities, please feel free to contact us. Without volunteers the Capitol Museum cannot fulfill its mission to preserve and provide access to Arizona’s rich history. We value the experience and contribution our volunteers bring to Arizona’s Museum. NOTE: The Arizona Capitol Museum is part of the Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records. PRESERVING ARIZONA, PROVIDING ACCESS. "We are very excited at the expanding role our volunteers fill at the Arizona Capitol Museum and hope to provide more to the public thru the increased involvement of a larger dedicated team." For more information please call Jason Czerwinski, Volunteer Coordinator (602) 926-3731 or visit the museum's website.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tucson as arts-culture destination is talk topic

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- Prominent community leaders will lead a Tucson Community Conversation on Arts & Culture next week that will serve as the public rollout of the Pima Culture Plan. The conversation starts at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Tucson Association of Realtors, 2445 N. Tucson Blvd. The event is free. Early registration is recommended because seating is limited. Discussion topics will include ways to make Tucson a top arts and cultural destination and how to revitalize, fund and sustain the region's arts and culture. Sponsors include most of the prominent organizations mapping Tucson's future: Tucson Pima Arts Council, Tucson Regional Town Hall, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson Association of Realtors and Downtown Tucson Partnership. To register, contact Rebecca Springer at 624-0595 Ext. 10 or at

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Park won't try to replace historic Grand Canyon gift shop

[Source: Associated Press] -- The National Park Service says it won't try to find another company to run the historic Verkamp's Curios gift shop on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, ending a 100-year run for the family owned store. The Verkamp family decided not to bid to run the shop when the Park Service asked for proposals last year. The Park Service has decided not to seek other bidders and will find other uses for the building once they buy out the family's interest in the building. The family began selling trinkets out of a tent and built the shop in 1906, living there until the mid-1980s. Millions of visitors have bought curios, Indian blankets, baskets, pottery and other souvenirs at the site. It is set to close in September.

Plan to preserve displays at Tucson's Magic Carpet Golf hits snags

[Source: Jack Gillum, Daily Star] -- The kitschy displays at Magic Carpet Golf may meet their maker before they meet a mover. The sphinx, T-Rex and other larger-than-life statues at the mini-golf course may not fare well during a move, some experts say, making preservation efforts at the now- defunct park more difficult. The course, 6125 E. Speedway, closed last month after a 30-plus-year run in Tucson. Two 18-hole courses were built around offbeat creations, such as a spinning daisy fashioned out of plywood and a towering monkey crafted from who-knows-what. Some people want to save the displays as local artifacts. The problem now, said those who recently surveyed the grounds, is that the aging structures — made from a mix of rebar, concrete and fiberglass — could fare poorly when disturbed.

"Not one of these pieces is going to come out the same," said Brad Copley, who was contacted by Tucson's Valley of the Moon because of his expertise in moving heavy objects — namely, trees. He toured the park on Tuesday, at times poking and prodding at the old pieces of art to test their integrity. Golf N' Stuff General Manager Ted Williams, who recently toured the grounds, said the figures are either too heavy or too unstable to survive a haul. And that doesn't take into account damage sustained by three decades of abuse. In some cases, he said, "you have a structure that's never intended to be moved." But Williams said he'd like to move a couple of Magic Carpet's smaller figures, such as a concrete spider, to his course. Magic Carpet was sold Jan. 4 for $1.8 million to Tempe-based Chapman Automotive Group, which owns a nearby Mercedes dealership. Since then, several Tucsonans have come forward to find ways to save what they call unique pieces of the city's history.

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

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Downtown Phoenix arts thrive in shadow of potential development

[Source: Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic] -- In 1989, Phoenix looked more like an urban wasteland than the beating heart of a growing metropolis. Back then, Art Detour was all too apt a name for a trek into downtown to visit galleries and studios. An Arizona Republic report called the five-hour self-guided tour, with 18 stops, an "unusual scene": "Women in sun hats and men in walking shorts ambled along usually empty city streets. Some said they hadn't been downtown for years." Next weekend, the non-profit Artlink Inc. hosts its 20th annual event in a very different city - although the Detour tag still fits, thanks to a proliferation of construction zones ranging from high-rise hotels to light rail. The current building boom is the latest stage in a two-decade-long process of revitalization, one that the art community has nurtured and simultaneously has been threatened by. The pattern is familiar: Artists move into blighted urban areas to rent affordable spaces where they can live, create and show their work. The art attracts visitors, who in turn attract cafes and other small businesses. Property values rise, developers take notice and soon the artists are priced out of a community they helped create. It's a perennial paradox, but it's one that gallery owners and public officials are working to reconcile as they make plans for a diverse downtown where art has a permanent place. "We have the best relationship now than we've had in the past 20 years with the city of Phoenix," says artist and activist Beatrice Moore, who owns a studio on Grand Avenue and rents several spaces to other artists. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Ruffner earns the 'Arizona 'Historymakers' achievement

[Source: Ken Hedler, Daily Courier] --Elisabeth Ruffner, who arrived in Prescott as a bride in 1940, said people in her hometown of Cincinnati revered their city's history. Ruffner, 88, became interested in historical preservation that year when her late husband, Lester Ward "Budge" Ruffner, went to work as a partner in a funeral home in a Victorian home on South Cortez Street. She said she helped to save the building, which dates to the 1880s. She continues the enthusiasm to this day, in some cases helping to preserve and restore buildings that she predates, such as the Hassayampa Inn. The hotel, which dates to 1927, displays a Governor's Award that she received in 1987 for historic preservation in the rehabilitation/restoration category.

Ruffner said she and Prescott architect Bill Otwell have helped to secure National Register of Historic Places designations for the Hassayampa Inn, the Elks Opera House and other buildings in Prescott. Ruffner has provided "inestimable" help in preserving the hotel, General Manager Tilden "Skip" Drinkard said. "Let's say 'priceless,'" Drinkard continued. "What Elisabeth has done is help us establish a real credible history of this hotel." Ruffner is due for another honor March 29 when the Historical League Inc. of the Arizona Historical Society honors residents who have contributed significantly toward preserving the state's history. The league will honor Ruffner and five others as Arizona Historymakers at the black-tie dinner in the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale.

The press release on the event cites Ruffner for more than 50 years of "dedicated effort and expertise" to the City of Prescott and Yavapai County. It mentions her efforts to establish a community hospital and public library. Ruffner said she founded the auxiliary of Prescott Community Hospital - now Yavapai Regional Medical Center - in 1943 - and helped to write the bylaws for the hospital association. Three years earlier, Prescott women sought her help because she was new in town to establish a new library building, replacing the Carnegie Library, Ruffner said. The state Historical Society sought nominees for Historymakers from every historical society in Arizona, said Patricia Faur, who handles its publicity. The society receives 90 to 100 nominees a year. "I have lived a good life in this little town, and I am continuing to serve it," Ruffner said.

Tucson's Presidio brings 1700s to life (op-ed)

[Source: Bonnie Henry, Daily Star] -- Ninety years after the last vestiges of Tucson's walled fort known as San Agustín del Tucson were carted off, a portion of the presidio has now come to life Downtown. But re-creating the late 18th century in modern-day Tucson hasn't come easy. Adobe walls had to be stabilized. Uniforms had to be meticulously researched. And then there was that cannon — one that shoots out toast, rather than fire power. One can only wonder what the presidio's original inhabitants — and the Apaches they fought — would think of all this. Inside, meet some of the stalwarts determined to keep our history alive — with or without limitations.

The Transamerica Building looms to the south, sometimes blocking the sun. Across the street is a parking garage. Trains can be heard rumbling in the distance. And plunked in the middle of all this modern urbanity sits Tucson's distant past: the re-created Presidio San Agustín del Tucson. Part anachronism, all dream — particularly for Tucson architect Lewis Hall, who in 1984 helped found the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation. Its main mission: reconstruct a portion of Tucson's long-gone fort, which dates back to the late 1770s. Hall had an even bigger dream. "He wanted the whole thing. He wanted to tear down City Hall," says another Presidio Trust founder, Sybil Needham. "It was an obsession with him." Lewis died in 1998, a year before funding to reconstruct a portion of the presidio was approved. The location: a parking lot, three acres in all, on the northeast corner of Church Avenue and Washington Street. Funded with $2.67 million in Rio Nuevo money, re-creation became reality last May, though not without its naysayers. "Some people say you can't restore," says Needham. "But the Alamo is restored. All those buildings bombed to gravel during World War II have been restored." Archaeologist and anthropologist Gayle Hartmann, who is a former president of the Presidio Trust, says, "Yes, this is a reconstruction. It used to be a parking lot. I don't think that matters. It's a glimpse of history."

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