Blog Archives

New state archives in downtown Phoenix to be dedicated, Jan. 15

https://i0.wp.com/www.faza.net/images/PRpers.jpgThe Friends of Arizona Archives invite you to attend the dedication of the Polly Rosenbaum State Archives and History Building.

  • Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009
  • Time: Remarks and Ribbon Cutting 9 a.m. (Honorable Ken Bennett, Master of Ceremonies); tours 10 a.m. to Noon
  • Place: 1901 West Madison Street at 19th Avenue (parking available at the State Capitol, Records Building, Wesley Bolin Plaza, and on adjoining side streets where permitted)

Refreshments will be served, including cake from Polly Rosenbaum’s 100th birthday cake’s recipe.  RSVP by January 7 if you plan to attend.  Specify whether you would like to take a tour of the facility after the ceremony.   RSVP via e-mail or by phone to 602-770-5057.  For more information, visit the FAzA website.  This event is presented by Mortenson Construction and Gila County.

This Veterans Day, let us remember…

The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center’s annual Veterans Day Parade runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 11 in midtown Phoenix, featuring nearly 100 parade entries including military and civilian marching units, color guards, military vehicles, equestrian units, floats, balloons, and bands.  The parade will run north from the VA Medical Center, beginning at Seventh Street and Montecito (north of Indian School Road), turning west on Camelback Road and proceeding to Central Avenue, then turning north to Bethany Home Road, where it will end at North Phoenix Baptist Church.

Later, take time to stop by and visit the memorials at Wesley Bolin Memorial Park in downtown Phoenix.  To learn more about the memorials in and around our nation’s capital, click here.

Where will Phoenicians gather outdoors to meet, debate?

With the demise of Patriots Square Park in downtown Phoenix and the limited amount of acreage at the now-under-construction Downtown Civic Space, where will the grand public gatherings be held in or around downtown Phoenix?

Barack Obama rally, Waterfront Park, Portland, OR May 18, 2008. (oregonianphoto]As a reference point from another Western U.S. city, Portland, OR’s Waterfront Park hosted a May 18, 2008 primary rally for Presidential candidate Barack Obama.  The local fire department estimated 75,000 people in attendance, while the Washington Post, in their coverage of this event, considered the record crowd to be the size of a city.

A proposal by the local chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), pictured at left, “envisions a more formalized public space in downtown Phoenix which expands the proposed boundaries of the space into the streets, and invites casual public interaction with retail shops, food and beverage options, and shaded seating areas separated and protected by street bollards.”

Revisions nearly done to Wesley Bolin Plaza’s Sept. 11 memorial

[Source: Associated Press] — Revisions to Arizona’s controversial Sept. 11 memorial are almost finished, nearly two years after the structure was first dedicated.  Memorial supporters hope the changes put to rest controversy about the memorial since it was unveiled at the state Capitol in downtown Phoenix on Sept. 11, 2006, the 5-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Among the changes made to the memorial include removing a pair of inscriptions referencing an “erroneous U.S. air strike” in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden’s address to the American people.  Two less contentious inscriptions have taken their place, and a large plaque with a series of explanatory panels has been installed along the walkway leading to the memorial.

Architects pitch makeover for Arizona Capitol complex

[Source: Associated Press] — Parts of the Arizona Capitol complex and surrounding parts of Phoenix would get a makeover in the years leading up to the state’s centennial in 2012, with bigger changes envisioned in the eight years after that.  There’s no cost estimate yet but the architects working as volunteers told the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission that private and public funding probably would be needed, along with cooperation from the city, area landowners, and the state government itself.  “We hope this is a nonpartisan, totally universal thing that is right up there with apple pie and grandma,” Phoenix architect Will Bruder said Friday.

Projects proposed for completion before the February 2012 centennial include:

  • promoting part of Washington Street as “Centennial Boulevard”
  • erecting new shade ramadas and steps to upgrade the usability of the Old Capitol
  • livening up the Executive Tower’s exterior
  • adding new rail service between the Capitol and other parts of downtown
  • designating Washington Street as the city’s main parade route (as Central Avenue’s use for light rail eclipsed that role)

Longer-range ideas call for:

  • designing new and remodeling existing state buildings
  • creating extensive commercial and residential development between downtown Phoenix and the State Capitol

Tom Smith, a former legislator who serves as chairman of the mall commission, pressed the architects for commitments that they would stick with the project.  Previous proposals to rework the Capitol complex have largely not been implemented, Smith noted.

Key components of the various projects will include promoting renewable energy, increasing the livability of the Capitol area, and celebrating all parts of the state, not just Phoenix, said Bruder and landscape architect Michael Dollin.  The Capitol area needs to be changed from a “collection of buildings” to a unified area centered on Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, which could serve as a central gathering spot for outdoor events and gatherings, Dollin said.  “It’s really the state’s premier park in an urban setting,” Dollin said.  “We feel it should be the premier living room in the state.”