Two downtown sites chosen as PHX points of pride

[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 the 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.  The other finalists were: North Mountain Visitor Center (9 percent), Chase Field (8 percent), Royal Palms Resort and Spa (8 percent), George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center (7 percent), Cesar Chavez Park (7 percent), Pioneer Living History Museum (7 percent), and Murphy Bridle Path (6 percent)…

Ballot boxes were placed around the Burton Barr library, 1221 N. Central Ave., to help would-be voters.  Signs also went up at area branch libraries. And e-mail blitzes ensued, said library spokeswoman Victoria Welch.  Phoenix City Librarian Toni Garvey is thankful for the support.  “We are delighted that the community recognizes the value and beauty of Burton Barr Central Library.”

Having the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center come in with the most votes is quite an honor, said Larry Bell, executive director of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, which is renovating the site as a museum and gallery at First and Culver streets.  “Given the quality of the pool of finalists, it’s exciting,” he said.  “It shows people value history. They say that the city of Phoenix has no history because it’s young, but that’s not true.  It’s all around us.”

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