Downtown Voices statement on Sun Mercantile Building

Mayor Gordon and Members of Council:

My name is Steve Weiss, and I’m here to represent the views of the Downtown Voices Coalition.

Downtown Voices Coalition is not opposed to the W Hotel project in principle, but we do oppose the way that Sun Mercantile has been incorporated into the project.

Our organization’s frustration is compounded by the fact that this is a city-owned property.  Your seats on the Council and as Mayor are a stewardship, and your decisions determine the future of Phoenix.  In this case, your choice is either to combine the new visions of downtown Phoenix with respect for historic integrity, or to leave the city a legacy where nothing of significant historic value remains.

A city’s history is like a treasure chest, full of valuables that come from authenticity.  Take more and more away of that authentic value, and all you are left with is an empty box.  We laugh at Las Vegas, whose city implodes rather than preserves, yet we follow the same direction when we create insular, inward-looking structure with only a casual nod to the past.

We urge you to support the Certificate of Appropriateness as recommended by both the Historic Preservation Officer and Historic Preservation Commission.  Thank you.

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