Blog Archives

Phoenix’s Washington Garden Club celebrates 80th anniversary

garden club.jpg[Source: Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times] — The Washington Garden Club, the oldest garden club in the Valley, [celebrated] its 80th anniversary with an Anniversary Tea at 11 a.m. Friday, May 8, at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N.15th Ave.  The Washington Garden Club has provided Phoenix with desert blooms for decades.  “As we ‘go green,’ it’s great to have the expertise and guidance of long-time gardeners who have been successful in our desert climate,” says Vice Mayor Tom Simplot.

Established in 1929 when the population in Phoenix numbered 48,000, the Washington Garden Club was formed by a group of women who gathered together to learn about the horticulture and floriculture of the desert land.  To this day, the club continues to meet on the second Friday of each month.  The club has been involved in many service projects throughout the years, utilizing individual members’ skills or raising donations to create scholarships.  One of their lasting club service projects has been the “Gardening in the Class Room,” which helps educate and inspire young future gardeners.

Founding members included Ida Corpstein, wife of Peter Corpstein, who was the mayor of Phoenix from 1916-1920.  Past members were involved in the formation of the Desert Botanical Garden and Valley Garden Center.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

The New York Times spends 36 hours in Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix at night (David Kadlubowski, New York Times)

[Source: Randal Archibold, New York Times] — Like the myth behind its namesake, Phoenix seems to have come out of nowhere to rank as the nation’s fifth largest city. Even long-timers have a tough time explaining the city’s appeal. Phoenix has left no firm mark in pop culture, aside from a bit role in the opening shot of “Psycho.”

The list of famous area residents is rather short: Barry Goldwater, John McCain, Jordin Sparks are among the better known.  And the city is an inferno in the summer.  The other nine months of the year, however, are gorgeous and sunny, making it a perfect time to visit the city’s new bounty of top-notch golf courses, fashionable resorts, eye-opening museums, and cool night life.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

National Trust officials tour Valley for possible 2012 conference

Kathy Adams and Lori Feinman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation flew into town last week to view Phoenix’s convention facilities; tour selected historic sites and neighborhoods in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe; and visit with area preservation advocates to determine Phoenix’s ability to host the 2012 National Preservation Conference.  Meeting them at Sky Harbor was Sally Forrest, National Accounts Director for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski welcomes National Trust representatives Lori Feinman and Kathy Adams. (Photo: Midtown Messenger)

The three lunched at the Hotel Valley Ho, one of the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America, and then drove to downtown Phoenix to tour the Phoenix Convention Center, the Hyatt Regency and Wyndham hotels (two of the host hotels), and Orpheum Theatre. Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Officer, and Jim McPherson, Arizona Advisor to the National Trust, joined them for dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub in Heritage Square Park (a large outdoor venue that could serve as the opening reception for the 2,500-plus attendees of the 2012 conference).

Phoenix's historic Ellis Shackelford House was decked out in the colors of Arizona's state flag. (Photo: Midtown Messenger)

On Tuesday, Adams and Feinman started off the day by visiting the historic San Carlos Hotel and breakfast at Palette in the Roosevelt Historic District.  Then it was a “timed-to-the minute” whirlwind van tour of First Presbyterian Church, Security Building (and ASU’s PURL overlooking the city), Monroe School (Children’s Museum of Phoenix), Phoenix Union High School Buildings (University of Arizona College of Medicine), Steele Indian School Park, Heard Museum, and several midtown residential historic districts.

State Historic Preservation Officer Jim Garrison and Modern Phoenix Founder Alison King joined the group for lunch and tour of the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.  Then it was off to drive by the Wrigley Mansion, and visit the Desert Botanical Garden, Gammage Auditorium, Pueblo Grande National Historic Landmark, and St. Mary’s Basilica.  Special guests “popped in” throughout the day to say hello, provide their perspective on preservation, and tout Phoenix as a conference site: Attorney General Terry Goddard (Palette), State Senator Debbie McCune Davis (UA College of Medicine), City of Phoenix Council Member Greg Stanton (Children’s Museum), attorney Grady Gammage (Gammage Auditorium), former Phoenix mayor John Driggs, and Arizona 2012 Centennial director Karen Churchard.

Dan Klocke (Downtown Phoenix Partnership), Charles Fortenberry (Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers), John Jacquemart (Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee), and G.G. George (Encanto Citizens Association). (Photo: Midtown Messenger)

Topping off the visit was a reception at the Ellis Shackelford House in downtown Phoenix.  Over 60 preservation advocates from all over the Valley (and Sierra Vista!), city officials, and downtown business group leaders attended.  A balloon arch, special signage, decorations, and flowers in the colors of Arizona’s state flag welcomed our guests from the National Trust.  City of Phoenix Council Member Michael Nowakowski, Garrison, Stocklin, Feinman, and McPherson said a few words, and the rest of the evening was spent enjoying each other’s company and dining on wonderful hors d’oeuvres from Catered by St. Joseph’s.  Gift bags courtesy of the State Historic Preservation Office and City of Phoenix were presented to Adams and Feinman, and each attendee received a small gift as well.

Phoenix is no cultural desert, says PA travel columnist

[Source: Charles J. Adams III, Reading, PA Eagle] — In conversation with an artistic, educated, informed, intelligent, and intellectual (in case she’s reading this) friend, I mentioned that I had just returned from a trip to the Phoenix area and enjoyed a visit to the Phoenix Art Museum.  “Ah, yes,” she sarcastically sighed, “Phoenix — cultural capital of America!”

When challenged, she continued her assault on the artistic attributes of the Arizona metropolis.  When further challenged, she admitted that she had never been to the “Valley of the Sun.”

She should go.  Should she seek consolation in what she considers a cultural void, she will find it in more than 60 art, nature, science and history museums; historic sites; zoos; and gardens.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]