Blog Archives

Midcentury Marvels Brown Bag Lunch in downtown Phoenix on Jan 21

[Source: City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and]

Why just eat lunch at noontime? Why not go on a cultural journey guaranteed to open your eyes, expand your mind and stir your spirit? The “Faces of Diversity” Brown Bag Series features dynamic people telling their stories about diversity in our community — race, ethnicity, gender issues, disability awareness, religion, etc.

After several years of intensive effort (and with several grants), the City Historic Preservation Office is finally releasing its publication “Midcentury Marvels: Commercial  Architecture of Phoenix: 1945-1975.”   This is a glossy hard-back 250+ page publication with over 300 current and historic photographs telling the story of Phoenix’s post World War II rise and the commercial architectural wonders that sprung up on the Phoenix landscape during this era.   Impeccably researched, Don Ryden’s narrative squarely places our local culture in context with the global and national Modernism movements.

The book will be released for the first time at a Brown Bag Lunch and  Book Signing at 12 noon on Friday Jan. 21. A limited edition of the first printing is available for purchase for $20. First come first serve!

By the end of January 2011, the book will be available for sale online at where you can purchase it for $20 plus $4.99 shipping.  The book will also be available for sale at the $20 price at the Historic Preservation Office during regular business hours, 3rd floor, Phoenix City Hall starting January 24, 2011. All proceeds from the book sales will go to the Historic Preservation Bond Fund.

Event Details

MIDCENTURY MARVELS: Commercial Architecture of Phoenix 1945-1975

Noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 Phoenix City Council Chambers 200 W. Jefferson St.

Don W. Ryden, AIA Barbara Stocklin, city of Phoenix historic preservation officer

The traditional styles that characterized Phoenix architecture during the early 20th century gave way to a bold new design aesthetic known as Modernism. Many of Phoenix’s most recognized buildings were constructed during this era. Don W. Ryden, AIA, and Barbara Stocklin will tell the story of the remarkable post-World War II era in Phoenix history and discuss the importance of preserving historical buildings that still remain.

This series, sponsored by the Phoenix Human Relations Commission and the city’s Equal Opportunity Department, promotes the value of cultural diversity and creates opportunities for positive exchange among diverse groups. For more information, visit

To request disability accommodations, call the Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department at 602-495-0358/voice or 602-534-1557/TTY

Park at 305 W. Washington and bring your ticket for validation and parking discount. The Light Rail stop is just steps away!

We hope to see you there with all the other Usual Suspects who are fighting hard on behalf of our city’s midcentury heritage!

Phoenix historic neighborhoods group to meet March 19

The Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition will meet Thursday, March 19, starting at 7 p.m. at the Phoenix Elementary Dist. #1 Governing Board Room (turn south off Palm Lane, just east of 7th St.; meeting room at northeast corner of the campus).  Among the agenda items:

  • Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Officer, will offer several updates, including grant program changes and palm tree maintenance/preservation.
  • Discussion of possible effects of deletion and modification of stipulations on Park Central Mall property.
  • Report on effects of budget crisis on Phoenix Elementary District #1 schools and programs.
  • Nominations are due April 4, for the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Awards (now in its 27th year).  Details here.
  • 2009 Historic Preservation Luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa on May 5, 11:30 a.m.  Carl Elefante from Washington D.C. will speak on greening historic and vintage buildings.  Seats are $50, and reservations are being handled through the Capitol Mall Association via e-mail or phone 602-340-0745.
  • The 7th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference will be held June 18 – 20 at the Downtown Hyatt-Regency.  Details here.
  • Want to help with the current budget crisis?  Stephen Procaccini has alerted us to a new city web page where people can search for ways to volunteer at city parks, social service programs, libraries, etc.  Click here.
  • Learn more about Arizona Archaeology & Heritage Month.  Click here for events calendar.

1902 Dining Hall next rehab project at Steele Indian School Park

Dining Hall, Steele Indian School Park (photo: phxpma)

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — Exterior abatement work is currently underway on the 1902 Dining Hall at Steele Indian School Park.  Lead paint from the exterior brick and wood surfaces are currently being removed using hand tools (to ensure that the soft historic brick is not damaged).  The exterior rehabilitation project includes roof repair and replacement, exterior brick repairs, window and door restoration, and other miscellaneous exterior work items.  Additional funds are needed to address the interiors and for the building to accommodate a new use.

The exterior rehabilitation project, funded with 2006 Historic Preservation Bond funds and Native American gaming monies, is slated to be completed in late spring 2009. Brycon, the contractor for Dining Hall, is also set to begin work within the next few weeks on the exterior rehabilitation of the adjacent 1932 Grammar School/Band Building.  [Note: For more information about the city’s historic preservation program, click here.]

Planning continues on downtown Phoenix Luhrs Block restoration

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — Staff from the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and Development Services Department met with representatives from Hansji Hotels, the property owners of the Luhrs Block downtown, to discuss their site plan for a phase I and phase II project.  Site plan approval for a phase II project, which includes build-out of the entire block other then protected areas, will require design review by the Historic Preservation Commission per the city development agreement with the property owners.  The Commission’s review is tentatively scheduled for January 12, 2009.

Possible renovations, demolition in Phoenix Warehouse District

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — The fate of three properties in Phoenix’s historic Warehouse District was discussed among city Historic Preservation staff and others in early October; two possible renovations and one possible demolition.  Details below:

Historic Preservation staff met with prospective buyers of a vacant warehouse at 515 E. Grant Street on October 3.  Development Services, Downtown Development, and Office of Customer Advocacy staff also attended.  The buyers are the Stanley Sausage Company, which owns a facility at 2201 E. McDowell Road, but is looking to upgrade to a larger building.  The warehouse at 515 E. Grant Street is not listed on either the Phoenix Historic Property Register or the National Register of Historic Places, but is considered eligible for listing; it was built in 1946 for the General Sales Company, was designed by the architectural firm of Lescher & Mahoney and constructed by Del Webb.  Representatives of the Stanley Sausage Company indicated that, if they were to purchase the property, they would likely pursue historic designation for the building and request a grant from the City’s Historic Preservation Bond.  They are also looking at sites outside of Phoenix to relocate their facilities.

The Historic Preservation Office received a Warehouse and Threatened Building Program grant application from Dudley Ventures (James Howard Jr.) to rehabilitate the one-story 1930 Arizona Hardware Supply Company Warehouse at 22 E. Jackson Street.  Because the warehouse’s front façade had previously been stuccoed and the front raised parapet removed, the Historic Preservation Office originally did not consider the building eligible for listing on the Phoenix Historic Property Register, a pre-requisite to apply for a city historic preservation grant.  The owner has since removed the stucco from the brick, has provided plans indicating how the salvaged brick from the front parapet can be reinstalled, and has provided architectural drawings demonstrating how the building can be returned to its historic condition and appearance.  The vacant 6,600 square foot warehouse will be adaptively used for office use by the owner.  The $121,000 grant request will be considered by the Historic Preservation Commission at their October 20, 2008, meeting.  The building would need to be listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register prior to expending any bond dollars for the grant, if the grant application is approved by City Council.

Michael Levine, owner of Phoenix Seed and Feed Warehouse, 411 S. 2nd Street, filled a demolition application for the historic warehouse due to difficulties with his lender.  Because the property is historically designated, the building cannot be demolished until the one-year stay of demolition expires, and the demolition is subject to an approved replacement plan on the site.

Tour Phoenix’s rehabbed historic Memorial Hall, Oct. 29

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — Join the City of Phoenix in celebrating the 6 p.m. ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the newly rehabilitated 1922 Memorial Hall, Wednesday, October 29, 2008.  Tours of the historic building will be held from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. and, at 7:30 p.m., enjoy musical performances by local entertainers.  Location: Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd.

Restoration begins on another historic building at Phoenix’s Steele Indian School Park

Phoenix Indian School Dining Hall by phxpma.[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — Work has started on the exterior rehabilitation of the 1902 Dining Hall at Steele Indian School Park.  This project is funded with 2006 Historic Preservation Bond Funds and will take approximately one year to complete (September 2009).   The scope of work will be to stabilize and fully repair the brick exteriors, perform structural stabilization work, rehabilitate wood and steel windows, complete major roof improvements, and repaint.  Additional funds will be needed to complete interior restoration and tenant improvements.

Phoenix’s First Missionary Church to be rehabbed with HP bond funds

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — The Phoenix City Council approved $150,000 in Historic Preservation Bond Funds for the exterior rehabilitation of the historic First Missionary Church, a high profile 1928 historic building at 902 E. McKinley St. in the Garfield Historic District.  The building will continue to be used as a church, occupied by Spirit & Life Church, though a lease agreement with the owner. 

The proposed rehabilitation project includes window repair and replacement, masonry cleaning and repair, repainting of wood surfaces, removal of paint from concrete steps, removal of non-historic features such as evaporative coolers, and installation of a new ADA lift on the east side of the building.

Phoenix HP Commission recommends project for Parks, Preserve Initiative

Winship House, Phoenix, Arizona

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — The City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission formally recommended that the City Council allocate Parks & Preserve Initiative (PPI) funds to rehabilitate historic properties on city parks where there has been substantial prior public investment and additional funds are still needed to activate a historic building and site for a public use, most notably:

  • $12 million for remaining capital, staffing, and operational needs at Tovrea Castle (including funds needed immediately to help open the park and to provide public restrooms).
  • $5 million for Steele Indian School.
  • $800,000 for the Winship House at 216 W. Portland Parkway.

For a complete list of historic resources managed by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and in need of significant, click here.

City, Valley Metro to conduct historic streetscape study

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — Staff of the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office met with Valley Metro’s light rail staff and consultants to map out an historic streetscape study that the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is requiring Valley Metro to complete as partial mitigation for the light rail project and its impacts to the historic streetscape along Central Avenue.

As part of this study, a lunch forum will be held on October 2, 2008 at the Carnegie Library, 99 S. 12th Avenue, with landscape architects, other design professionals, and interested parties to collect information about the elements that define different streetscape types found in the city and to discuss appropriate and inappropriate changes to historic streetscapes.