Blog Archives

Help Save the Mahoney Building

The 1912 Mahoney Administration Building is one of the few remaining government buildings in the Valley that dates to the year of Arizona’s statehood. Identified by Phoenix Magazine as one of the city’s “hidden gems;” the building represents the first institutional commission for the architectural engineering firm of Lescher & Kibbery (later Lescher & Mahoney).

The building housed executive office and living quarters for the hospital superintendent’s family. It is the oldest remaining structure on the Arizona State Hospital campus and one of the earliest remaining examples of Mission Revival-style architecture in Phoenix.

Today, the Mahoney Building stands vacant and in a state of disrepair. The building’s exterior retains much of its historic character, despite some weather deterioration. Although nearly 100 years old, the building is structurally sound because it was constructed with the most advanced technology of the period. The Arizona Historical Advisory Commission (AHAC) has recognized the Mahoney Building’s historical significance by designating it as one of the Arizona Centennial’s state Legacy Projects.

A dedicated group of volunteers led by Susan Gerard, a former state health director and health leader at the Legislature, is working hard to restore this historical treasure. With Arizona’s Centennial fast approaching, plans to restore the building hinge on finding funds and community support.

For more information, please contact Arizona State Hospital CEO John Cooper at (602) 244-1331 or

You can also find them on Facebook.

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Capitol Mall’s Mining & Mineral Museum to get makeover

Governor Jan Brewer announced that in celebration of Arizona’s 100th anniversary of statehood, an Arizona Centennial Museum will be created.   In a ceremony at the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in the Capitol Mall area of downtown Phoenix, the governor presented her vision and plans that will be instituted over the course of the next two years to transform the museum into the Arizona Centennial Museum.  The museum’s exhibits will be devoted to showcasing Arizona’s economic growth and industrial development. 

“This new Centennial Museum will be a vibrant, interactive facility, offering state-of-the-art technology and exhibits unlike any in Arizona,” said Governor Brewer. “This facility will feature educational profiles of each industry, showcasing the rich heritage of Arizona’s economy and providing a vision of its brilliant future.”  [Note: Read the full article at Capitol Mall’s Mining & Mineral Museum to get makeover.]

Arizona Centennial Legacy Projects in Phoenix, statewide

What projects are planned for your neighborhood or community?  For more information about Arizona’s Centennial efforts, click here.

What can Phoenicians do to leave a Centennial legacy?

[Source: Robert Booker, Arizona Commission on the Arts] — The Arizona Centennial Legacy Project application is available online or for downloading on the Arizona Centennial website.   Individuals and organizations involved in Phoenix or Arizona arts, culture, and heritage efforts are eligible to apply.  You can also find a list of approved Legacy Projects.

Complete and successful applications include a three-page statement that addresses the following criteria:

  1. accurately portray a significant aspect of Arizona history
  2. be accessible to a large number of users/visitors
  3. demonstrate collaboration in the planning
  4. produce an enduring project that will live on after 2012
  5. include an educational component
  6. include an implementation plan

Arizona Memory Project documents state’s past

The Arizona Memory Project is an online effort to provide access to the wealth of primary sources in Arizona libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions.  This initiative provides the opportunity to view some of the best examples of government documents, photographs, maps, and objects that chronicle Arizona’s past and present.

Aerial photograph of Phoenix College, 1950 (among the many photographs in the Arizona Memory Project collection).As a portal to many institutions’ collections, the project will help individuals locate materials relevant to their interests and to better appreciate the connections between those materials.  The Arizona Memory Project was launched in March 2006 and has been granted the Arizona Centennial 2012 legacy project designation by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission.  The Arizona Centennial 2012 legacy projects support the Arizona State Centennial Celebration.

Begin your search of Phoenix and Arizona history here.

Wandering around Phoenix’s Capitol Mall

In November 2006, a team of ASU College of Design architects and urban planners presented the Capitol Mall Centennial Plan to the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission.  The plan makes key infrastructure and landscape recommendations directed toward the goal of revitalizing the Capitol Mall District as Arizona prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2012.  The Legislative Governmental Mall Commission formed a subcommittee to review the proposals put forth in the master plan and develop ways for the plan to go forward.  Now, noted Arizona architect Will Bruder has pulled together a team to examine the area as prime for “green,” sustainable development.

This slideshow gives you a peek at the historic and vintage buildings and sites in the Capitol Mall area.  In the very recent past, despite significant community outcry, one significant local landmark, Madison Square Garden, was demolished.