Daily Archives: September 24, 2009

Celebrating art, music, history, and adaptive reuse in Phoenix’s Lower Grand


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It all ‘adds’ up: Christoph Kaiser and his Garfield neighborhood


Christoph Kaiser at one of his Garfield properties.

[Source: Yuri Artibise, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — Christoph Kaiser is helping to rebuild Garfield one house at a time.  Once an epicenter of gang activity and urban blight in downtown Phoenix, Kaiser’s houses are now at the heart of Garfield’s resurgence, and among the coolest in downtown Phoenix.

Kaiser is part owner of the architectural firm Plus Minus Studio, founded by him and his business partner Hayes McNeil in the fall of 2005. Since its founding, they have added Anson Chen to their team as Project Manager.  The studio has been responsible for some of the most striking projects in and around Phoenix, including transforming Katz’s Deli into Postino Central and the complete remodel of Kitchen Sink Studios in downtown Phoenix.  In addition, Christoph has recently joined Hayes as partner in the new Royal at the Market coffee shop at the soon-to-be-opened Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery and Wine Bar.

While this portfolio is indeed impressive for a young architect, it is his personal projects in the Garfield neighborhood that captured the attention of DPJ.  Garfield is the oldest historical district in Phoenix.  First established in 1883, it became part of the city of Phoenix in 1899.  Houses in the neighborhood date from the 1890s to the 1940s, with a large percentage built in the early 1900s.  Unlike the grand dames of Phoenix’s historic districts, Willo and Encanto-Palmcroft, which have mostly remained intact and have dramatically appreciated in value, the historical homes in Garfield fell on hard times over the past three decades.  [Note: To read the full article, visit It all ‘adds’ up: Christoph Kaiser and his Garfield neighborhood.]

New Times issues 2009 “Best of Phoenix”

3901858.41[Source: Phoenix New Times] — To hear people talk, you’d think Phoenix has had her wings clipped.  But we know the truth.  This is our wonderland.  Times may be tough, but instead of biting the dust, Phoenicians are sticking their heads in the clouds.  And here, as proof, is our annual love letter to the city — 591 examples of dreams becoming reality.

This year we got back to basics with an emphasis on the do-it-yourselfers who are creating this city even as we write this.  We asked a group of creative types — from visual artists to musicians to a pastry chef — to show us their own personal Phoenix wonderlands.  You can see their work on the pages of this issue.  The originals will be on display on First and Third Friday in October at [merz] project, 1437 North First Street — and you’re all invited.

Phoenix, you make our wildest dreams come true.