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.]