Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arizona Preservation Foundation announces 2008 Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Awards

The Arizona Preservation Foundation has unveiled the Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award winners for 2008. These awards recognize people, organizations, and projects that represent outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona's prehistoric and historic resources. The ten award winners and the Grand Award winner were announced at the annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference awards luncheon in Rio Rico.

Curley School, Ajo

GRAND PRIZE WINNER. Designed by Lescher and Mahoney in 1918 the Curley Elementary School is one of Ajo’s architectural treasures. In 2002 the International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) worked with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was awarded a $5,000 planning grant. In 2003 the Pima County Board of Supervisors began converting the school into artisan lofts with a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant.

By the time of dedication, the ISDA had secured funding in excess of $9 million dollars, including a $100,000 Heritage Fund grant. The completed project features 30 affordable “live and work” rental units for artisans. The restored auditorium and library remain open to the public. This project is viewed as both a historic preservation and an economic development effort. The hope is that the Curley School project will be just the beginning of Ajo’s economic renaissance. [Photo source: ISDA.]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brunenkant Bakery Building, Florence

Constructed in 1890, the Brunenkant Bakery Building is the oldest two story brick building in Florence. It was a bakery until the 1930s and then a grocery store until the 1960s. After standing vacant for many years the building was rehabilitated in 1973 by the Town of Florence and adaptively reused as the town library. This was one of the first historic properties in the state to be rehabilitated. Once the library outgrew the building, it again remained vacant. The second rehabilitation has recently been completed. The Town of Florence was awarded a Community Development Block Grant of nearly $300,000 and an additional Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund grant. As a result, the Brunenkant Bakery has been reborn as a fully functioning and attractive Visitor’s Center. Work included reinstalling most of the second floor framing that had been removed in 1973 and removing the unoriginal front porch. [Photo source: Jennifer Evans, Florence Main Street Program.]

Central Commercial Company Building, Kingman

The rehabilitation of the Central Commercial Company Building in historic downtown Kingman has been viewed as an extremely positive improvement from both a public safety point of view and from an aesthetic point of view. This project succeeded from the combined efforts and Community Development Block Grant funding of the City of Kingman and the owners Joe and Carol Ott. Since the mid 1980’s the building sat vacant and deteriorating. This created health and safety hazards and unsightly conditions in the heart of downtown Kingman.

Work focused on the rehabilitation of the storefronts, the restoration of the decorative cornice and restoration of original wall surfaces. The architect for the project was Bill Otwell of Prescott. The economic impact of this project to the town is substantial. Its rehabilitation has proven the City’s commitment to assist owners in the redevelopment of Downtown Kingman and has inspired other private property owners to plan improvements to their properties. [Photo source: Bill Shilling, City of Kingman.]

City of Glendale Planning Department

The City of Glendale Planning Department has fully embraced the preservation goal of integrating historic preservation into all levels of planning. Even though Glendale has had growth, facilitated the construction of Arizona’s signature sports complex and dealt with major transportation upgrades to their community, they have not forgotten to plan with their past in mind. At the top of the list is the continued survey and nomination of historic properties. Through the efforts of Glendale’s Preservation Officer, Ron Short, four of Glendale’s historic districts have been developed or expanded including Catlin Court, Glendale’s first historic district (pictured). Glendale currently has 6 historic districts and 8 individual properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Beyond survey and nomination, Catlin Court received an Arizona Heritage Fund Grant that helped rehabilitate and restore 12 contributing buildings in reinvesting over $175,000 back into the neighborhood. Another innovative project was the construction of the Myrtle Avenue Cultural Entryway that incorporated one of Glendale’s last adobe structures and the historic Morcomb Service Station. The planning department also believes in public education on the community’s history and cultural resources and has held workshops on historic preservation issues. Glendale was the host city for the 2006 Statewide Preservation Conference. The City of Glendale has operationalized the principles of what it means to be a Certified Local Government and the Glendale Planning Department has provided the key foundation on which the program is based. [Photo source: Ron Short, City of Glendale.]

Franklin Police and Fire High School, Phoenix

The historic Franklin School, designed by Jake Knapp, was constructed in 1926 and became a focal of the FQ Story neighborhood. The school was closed in 1993 and had been sitting vacant. The only visitors were gangs, the only new paint graffiti. In 2005 the Phoenix Union High School District and Mayor Phil Gordon began studying the feasibility of rehabilitating the school complex for a unique use. Hence was born the idea of the Franklin Police & Fire High School, the first school of its kind in the nation. Using a combination of City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Bond Funds, an Arizona Heritage Fund Grant, and District funds the proposed rehabilitation project became a reality. The architects were Hunt & Caraway, Ltd. of Glendale. [Photo source: Hunt & Caraway Architects.]

James A. Walsh Federal Building, Tucson

The 1930 United State Post Office and Court House in Tucson was renamed the James A. Walsh Courthouse in 1985. When the General Services Administration began planning for the new DeConcini courthouse in 1995 the fate of the Walsh Courthouse was uncertain. The decision was made to rehabilitate the building for use by the US Bankruptcy Court. The judges of the Ninth Circuit district, serving all of Arizona, strongly endorsed the stewardship opportunity of the project.

The rehabilitation has been very sensitive to the unique architectural detailing and functional layout of the original building while integrating all contemporary requirements into the pre-existing spaces. Of special note was the restoration of the original courtroom. Architects for the project were “Westlake Reed Leskosky.” The success of this restoration/rehabilitation project for GSA and in support of Tucson’s goal of encouraging revitalization of their downtown establishes a strong precedent for the reuse of other federal buildings in Arizona. [Photo source: Westlake Reed Leskosky.]

McCullough-Price House, Chandler

The McCullough-Price House was constructed in 1938 as a winter retreat for Detroit resident William D. McCullough. Designed by the firm of Lescher and Mahoney in the Pueblo Revival Style the house also has neo-classical and art-deco details. For many years the house was occupied by the Arthur Price Family, who donated the property to the City of Chandler in 2001. From 2001 to 2005 the house languished.

Due to extensive research by the city’s Public History Coordinator in documenting the unique significance of the property, the City fathers were convinced to pursue adaptive reuse of the building for public programs. Between 2005 and 2007, the Community Services Department undertook an $850,000 rehabilitation project that stabilized and restored portions of the building. The final uses include two gallery spaces, a reception center, a multipurpose meeting room and a Visitor’s Center. Robert Polar Architects, Inc. designed the project and the contractor was G&G Specialty Contractors, Inc. [Photo source: City of Chandler].

Noel Stowe

Dr. Noel Stowe is the senior and founding director of Arizona State University’s Public History Program. Established in 1980, the program prepares students for careers in the public practice of history. More than 250 students have participated in this graduate program. Historic Preservation is one area of emphasis. Through its students, graduates and faculty, the program has produced internships, administrative histories, research reports, thesis and dissertation research, and books related to historic preservation.

Noel is one of the foremost figures in the public history movement in the United States. Over the last thirty years this movement has reshaped the profession of history and the role of the professional historian in society. Most of Arizona’s current National Register nominations are prepared by or reviewed by former Public History students. Noel has also taken great interest in planning for the state’s centennial in 2012 being the driving force behind five annual centennial workshops, acting as president of the Coordinating Committee for History in Arizona (CCHA) and as a member of the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission. [Photo source: Tom Story.]

Santa Cruz County Courthouse, Nogales

The 1904 stone Santa Cruz County Courthouse is significant as Arizona’s first Neoclassical Revival Courthouse. Only Yuma would follow Santa Cruz County, but their domed building burned in 1916. The County Courthouse was designed by Trost and Trost. It is one of Arizona’s most significant Territorial buildings. In the 1980s the County decided to construct a new complex north of town to meet their growing spatial and parking needs, but the citizens did not want county officials to forget their wish to see the historic courthouse preserved.

To date Santa Cruz County has received five Historic Preservation Heritage Fund Grants for this building, totaling $390,000. The Courthouse is home to the Arizona Rangers Museum, the Santa Cruz Cowbelles Museum, and Cochise College classrooms. The Superior Courtroom is currently being restored and will be named the Raul Castro Courtroom in honor of the former Governor of Arizona. It will be used for community meetings. [Photo source: Santa Cruz County.]

Tohono O’odham National Cultural Affairs Office

The Tohono O’odham Nation faces the Herculean task of preserving and protecting its cultural identity and practices. This is the task assigned to their Cultural Affairs Office where many of these efforts are assigned to either Joe Joaquin or Peter Steere. Off reservation development, cross border legal and illegal immigration, and countless requests from federal agencies including Homeland Security keep the Cultural Affairs Office on their toes. Internal tribal requests concerning discoveries, roadside shrines, native plants, language and ceremonial issues including requests from tribal elders all must be accommodated.

It was the Cultural affairs office that first raised the issue of additional telescopes on Kitt Peak (pictured). It was the Cultural Affairs Office that was one of the first to discover the lack of compliance for work on the existing solar telescope. It was the Cultural Affairs Office that quickly discovered the damage near La Osa Ranch. It was the Cultural Affairs Office that first discovered damage to archaeological sites along the border. It was the Cultural Affairs office that champions the plight of tribal members across the border. We honor the work of the Cultural Affairs Office led by Joe Joaquin and Peter Steere.