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