Blog Archives

Midtown Phoenix empty lot where WWII housing once stood sold

[Source: G.G. George] — The Encanto Citizens Association Board attended the foreclosure auction on Thursday, June 11, 2009 for the vacant land on the north side of McDowell Road between 13th and 15th Avenues.  The property that the out-of-state investor, Scott M. Haskins, had purchased in 2006 for $5,400,000 had contained 32 moderate-rate apartments meant to house war workers during World War II.  It was just two years ago to the day, June 11, 2007, that Haskins had the historic Palmcroft Apartments demolished.  In ECA’s opinion, Haskins’ action irresponsibly wasted a historic resource that, properly managed, could have sheltered low-to-moderate income families for generations to come.

The Encanto Citizens Association opposed both the alley abandonment and the grab for the excess right-of-way at the 15th Avenue bus stop.  Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Mayor Phil Gordon, former Councilman Doug Lingner, and the other Council members denied the developer the alley abandonment and the excess right-of-way.  The F.Q. Story Historic District also supported ECA’s position.

The property was sold at auction to Michael Sklar of the Sonata Property Group for $500,000.  Mr. Sklar is familiar with the neighborhood, having previously lived at 1621 N. 11th Avenue.  The Encanto Citizens Association will continue to monitor this property and, in the best of all possible worlds, work harmoniously with a developer who truly has something to contribute to the appeal of Encanto-Palmcroft.

Viewpoint: The rise of a desert city (Phoenix)

[Source: Marshall Trimble, Special for the Arizona Republic] — “Ask anyone about why Phoenix is here.  Most people can’t answer that. Why do 4 million people live here?” – Michael Crow, Arizona State University president, meeting with The Arizona Republic’s Editorial Board in April

OK, why is Phoenix here?  In fact, what explains the tremendous growth of Phoenix, a desert city, over the past 65 years?  And where is this sprawling, go-go city headed?  We posed those questions to Arizona’s official state historian, Marshall Trimble, and Philip VanderMeer, an ASU historian and authority on Phoenix.

Today, Trimble explores the birth of Phoenix.  Next Sunday, VanderMeer will examine the factors that have contributed to Phoenix’s growth since World War II.  And, on June 14, VanderMeer will look at what the future may hold for the city.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

The USS Arizona and “a day that will live in infamy”

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is “ground zero” where World War II began for the United States.  The event where Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto stated: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant…”   The USS Arizona serves as the final resting place for many of the battleship’s 1,177 crew members who lost their lives on December 7, 1941.

Visit the historic Arizona State Capitol for the exhibit, “Flagship of the Fleet: Life and Death of the USS Arizona.”   For most of us, the most common image of the Arizona is of the ship in flames at Pearl Harbor.  This exhibit tells the rest of the story, its focus is personal.  Using rare artifacts and photographs, it tells the story of the men.  The exhibit brings the history of the ship up to date with film footage documenting the research that has been conducted on the ship since the 1980s.