Blog Archives

City to use downtown Phoenix’s Rosson House to host visitors

[Source: Emily Gersema, The Arizona Republic]

 

azcentral.com

 

The historic Rosson House at Sixth and Monroe streets in downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square has been a museum for several years, and city officials have found yet another purpose for it.

The Victorian house was recently designated a “protocol house” by the City Council. This special designation means that city officials can bring officials who are visiting Phoenix to small meetings or receptions at the house.

This is the city’s first protocol house. City leaders chose the house because it is secure, comfortable, a symbol of Phoenix history, and close to City Hall and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Councilman Tom Simplot, who represents District 4, supports historic preservation and had been a key proponent of the protocol house idea.

“It’s a great way to leverage public and private resources,” Simplot said.

Officials have said no extra city funding is needed to use the house for this purpose.

A timeline based on Rosson House Museum information is below.

1894

The house is designed by A.P. Petit for Dr. Roland Lee Rosson, who became mayor in 1895, the year he and his wife, Flora, moved in. Construction costs $7,525.

1897

The Rossons move after selling the home to local merchant and legislator Aaron Goldberg.

1974

After the house has changed hands several times, the city buys it for $74,425. The house is designated Arizona’s Bicentennial Meeting House by the state Bicentennial Commission.

1976

The Junior League of Phoenix reaches an agreement with the city, Rosson House Restoration Board and M.M. Sundt Construction Co. to restore the home’s interior. .

1980

The house is opened to the public.

1995

The house turns 100.

2010

The house is designated as a protocol house for officials visiting from out of town.

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First Fridays art walk expands to downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square

circa1900front

Circa 1900 in downtown Phoenix's Heritage Square.

[Source: Rebecca Clark, Special to the Arizona Republic] — On the nights of the First Fridays art walk, the normally quiet streets of downtown Phoenix are packed with nouveau hippies offering free hugs, Scientology protesters next to Scientology promoters, and street vendors selling everything from aprons to jewelry.  Men and women of all ages, all walks of life and from all over the Valley are drawn in by fire breathers, live bands and, of course, art.  But sometimes, amid the blocks of mayhem near the Roosevelt Row arts and shopping district, the night can seem less about art and more about an “art scene.”

That’s why Artlink, a non-profit downtown Phoenix arts organization, has partnered with the Rosson House Foundation and Phoenix artist Sean Deckert to bring a calmer, quieter, completely art-focused element to First Fridays in Heritage & Science Park, south of the Roosevelt Row area.  “People who come to downtown only for First Fridays get the wrong idea,” said Deckert, who is program coordinator and co-curator of the First Friday expansion to Heritage Square.  “On First Fridays, it is like the state fair has come to town.  There are people selling ice cream cones and T-shirts, and amidst all of that, there is an artist showing and trying to sell his own work.”

That’s why vendors and certain kinds of street performers will not be allowed in the intimate historic space near the Arizona Science Center and Pizzeria Bianco.  Instead there will be an outdoor gallery showing six to 10 artists each month, and Deckert said that number will increase as the area develops a reputation for art.  [Note: Read the full article at First Fridays art walk expands to downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square.]

“Icons of Phoenix” premieres March 6

iconsofphoenix

Local artist Jason Hill will premiere “Icons of Phoenix,” his latest series of handcrafted prints during Art Detour in March at Practical Art in Phoenix.  View Jason Hill’s new hand-printed silkscreen editions of iconic architectural landmarks in Phoenix, including Arcosanti, Taliesin West, Luhrs Tower, Westward Ho, Security Building, Rosson House, Hanny’s, Phoenix Towers, and the Phoenix Financial Center. Each image will be available in signed & numbered editions of five, printed with pearlescent pigments on 21″ x 17″ 80 lb. Neenah Environment paper.

A reception for the artist will be held Friday, March 6, 2009, beginning at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.  The event is free and open to the public.  No RSVPs are necessary.  The exhibition will continue until March 31.  Practical Art is located at 5070 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix, just a block and a half north of Camelback. During this show, Practical Art will be a stop on the annual Art Detour route, March 6 -8, 2009, sponsored by ArtLink.

How a historic downtown Phoenix shop became a famed pizzeria

Pizza Bianco, downtown Phoenix

[Source: Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic] — In a downtown Phoenix block full of historic buildings, the Baird Machine Shop might be the richest one.  And it is a story that continues to be written.  The 1928 square, brick building was one of several buildings from Phoenix’s original townsite days that was spared demolition by a Phoenix mayor.  Another man, who would become Phoenix mayor, had the vision that the building could become an iconic restaurant that would draw tourists from around the nation.

That second mayor, Phil Gordon, might have been ahead of his time by proposing the restaurant in the late 1980s.  But his vision came true, as the Baird Machine Shop houses the nationally renowned Pizzeria Bianco.  “I just always knew there would be that attraction to the physical uniqueness of the building,” Gordon said of his 1987 proposal to remodel and revitalize the Baird building.  “We saw the potential of (Heritage Square) being so unique,” he said.

So did then-Phoenix Mayor John Driggs.  When he took office in 1970, he decided to save the buildings that still remained from Block 14, one of the first created in the city that still had original buildings on it.  The Rosson House, which Driggs remembered seeing as a child, had been subdivided into apartments and had air-conditioning units hanging from its windows, said Darla Harmon, executive director at the Rosson House Museum.

The Baird Machine Shop, whose previous tenant was Milt Ponder’s Sign Shop, was one of the buildings bought by the city.  It was just luck that a deal didn’t go through that would have leveled the old structures, Harmon said.  “We’re a great place to put a parking garage, don’t you think?” she said. “(Developers) were looking around licking their lips.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Visit up to 15 great Phoenix attractions with ShowUp’s Now Pass

The ShowUp Now Pass is an all-inclusive pass to the museums and attractions of the Greater Phoenix region.  For one low price — even lower with Summer Pricing — you’re invited to experience as many as 15 destinations unique to the Desert Southwest.  There are two pass options available: (1) “Golden Triangle Pass” provides admission to visit the Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, and Desert Botanical Garden, or (2) “Total-Access Pass” provides admission to visit all 15 area attractions:

For more information and to purchase your Now Pass, click here.