Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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.]