2011 Most Endangered Historic Places

Introduction
•  The Arizona Preservation Foundation is releasing its 2011 list of Arizona's 25 most endangered historic places. Compiled by preservation professionals and historians, the list identifies critically endangered cultural resources of major historical significance to the state. "Each of the sites we have named are important historic landmarks in Arizona, but unfortunately are in grave danger of collapse, demolition, or destruction," said Jim McPherson, Arizona Preservation Foundation Board President. "As we approach Arizona’s Centennial – a time to reflect on our state’s past, present, and future – it is crucial that residents and government officials act now to save these elements of our cultural heritage before it is too late.” “We investigated the status of each entry and determined what should be dropped off, what should remain and why, and what should be added,” said Vince Murray, chair of the Foundation’s Most Endangered Historic Places Committee.

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Changes from Previous Lists
•  Twenty-one sites remain from previous lists. New to the 2011 list are the Arizona State Park system, Copper Miner Monument in Bisbee, Gonzalez Martinez House in Tempe, and Mesa Citrus Growers Association Building. Two historic buildings on previous lists were destroyed: the Havasu Hotel in Seligman was demolished in 2008 by the BSNF Railway Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in Casa Grande suffered significant damage from suspected arson in 2009. On the positive side, five historic buildings were removed from the list because significant progress was made to ensure their preservation: Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill in Tucson, Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale, Mesa Grande Platform Mound Ruins in Mesa, Second Pinal County Courthouse in Florence, and Valley National Bank (now Chase Bank) at 44th Street & Camelback Road in Phoenix.

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Adamsville Ruins
Adamsville is a large Classic Hohokam habitation site, dating from AD 1100 to AD 1450, consisting of a platform, mound, at least one compound, a ball court, and 41 associated mounds of which some still have standing architecture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is located near the 19th century town for which it is named. It is the second largest Hohokam housing area along the Canal Casa Grande, second only to the combined communities of Grewe and Casa Grande. The current size of the site is 155 acres of which 126 acres are proposed for addition to Casa Grande National Monument. The site is threatened by encroachment from commercial development and the State of Arizona is not able to provide adequate protection.

Photo: University of Arizona Library

Arizona State Parks
Our Arizona State Parks are in trouble. The economic downturn and tight state budget led the State Legislature to strip out and redirect most State Parks funding. Some Parks have closed. Others are on the list for closure. Dedicated and experienced employees have been laid off and Heritage Fund grants were eradicated. Elimination of the voterapproved Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund in FY2010 caused a $10 million permanent annual revenue reduction and removed the last source of Parks’ capital and maintenance funding. This also removed all matching funding for historic preservation projects as well as all local, regional, and state park enhancements & trails improvements. It is urged that the Governor and State Legislature consider a fully operational State Parks system and additional funds obtained through supplemental and sustainable funding sources.

Photo: Arizona State Parks

Arizona State University Historic Properties
Arizona State University was established in 1885 as teachers college on 20 acres of a former cow pasture donated by local residences. It became Arizona State College in 1945 and Arizona State University in 1958. Throughout the twentieth century, the university’s life was symbiotic to the history of Tempe and the State of Arizona. This legacy is reflected in the varying styles of architecture located on and around the Tempe campus. Unfortunately for a university that has established a global institute on sustainability, it has yet to fully embrace the concept that “the greenest building is the one that already exists.” Numerous historic buildings have already been demolished (such as the 1962 Valley National Bank at right). It is long overdue for the ASU administration to work with the Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation, Tempe Historic Preservation Commission, and Arizona State Historic Preservation Office on National Register of Historic Places eligibility of over a dozen historic buildings still standing and in their possession.

Photo: Matthew King

Basque Pelota Ball Court
Basque Pelota is a handball-like game originating on the borders of Spain and France. When Basques immigrated to America in the 1800s, they brought their sport with them. Approximately two dozen Pelota ball courts exist in the U.S. Of that, a dozen or so remain west of the Mississippi and only one remains in Arizona. Currently, there are issues over how the site in Flagstaff can be and should be developed. Though the owners would like to preserve the property and city officials have proposed several scenarios for preservation, their efforts at reuse on the site have been fraught with problems outside of their control.

Photo: Patty Rubick Luttrell

Buckhorn Baths
In 1939, Ted and Alice Sliger established the baths unknowing that their efforts to make a living of the natural mineral waters would help to establish Mesa and the East Salt River Valley as a mecca for professional baseball. In 1947, the New York Giants made the Buckhorn Baths their spring training home and continued to do so for 25-plus years. Ty Cobb, Leo Durocher, Willie Mays, Gaylord Perry, and others were regular guests. The Sligers established a post office, bus stop, water hole, museum, and motel, which they operated for 65-plus years. Also known as the Buckhorn Mineral Wells and Wildlife Museum, the latter moniker due to an immense taxidermy collection, the baths have been closed for years. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the location of the Buckhorn Baths makes it a prime target for development, and speculation is rampant that this part of Mesa and Arizona history could be lost.

Photo: Mesa Preservation Foundation

Camp Naco
This adobe compound was between 1919 and 1923, as part of the U.S. War Department's Mexican Border Defense construction project -- a plan to build a 1,200-mile barrier along the border. After the camp closed, the Civilian Conservation Corps used the complex in the 1930s for staging projects in southeast Arizona. Over the next several decades, the property owners used the structures as rental housing. Now owned by the Town of Huachuca City, the property has been heavily degraded due to neglect. Many of the adobe structures are eroded from exposure to the elements. The roof of one of the barracks has caved in, and other buildings merely ruins. In May 2006, arson destroyed four of the non-commissioned officer buildings and damaged the roof of a fifth. Unchecked vegetation is threatening the foundation of buildings and increasing the danger of fire.

Photo: Arizona Public Media

Copper Miner Monument
In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, renowned artist Raymond Sanderson created a stunning art deco sculpture dedicated to the “virile men, the copper miners.” Produced under the Works Project Administration, the monument survives today as a unique icon to Bisbee and a significant piece of American art. While the sculpture appears to be in good structural condition, localized areas of fine cracking appear near the base and deep cracking across the legs at the knees and ankles. The City of Bisbee fears that without preservation and restoration funds, the statue may fall into ruin and a unique form of artwork lost.

Photo: Arizona Sky Village

Empire Ranch
Located in the 42,000-acre Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Empire Ranch traces its history to the 1870s, when a 160-acre quarter section homestead was oought by Walter Vail and Herbert Hilsop. At the time, the ranch house was a fourroom adobe, with a zaguan (breezeway) that passed between the rooms into the corral. By the turn of the century, the ranch covered almost a million acres and the house had grown to 22 rooms. The Vail family lived there until the 1920s, when Edward Boice of the Chiricahua Cattle Company bought and then ranched the property until the 1970s. In 1988, the Bureau of Land Management acquired the property through a public-private land swap and designated the ranch lands as a natural conservation area, which it remains today. The Empire Ranch Foundation has worked to preserve the ranch house and outbuildings, including emergency repairs and stabilization.

Photo: Empire Ranch Foundation

First Baptist Church
This church was completed in 1930 to serve parishioners in central Phoenix before suburban expansion after World War II. The four-story building includes a roof-top garden, concrete and wood floors, diamondpatterned clerestory windows, Italian gothic motifs, three-pointed arch doorways, decorative cornices, stone columns, and a bell tower. While saved from demolition in 1992 from previous fire damage and despite the best intentions of its current owner, the building continues to lay dormant.

Photo: Natascha Payton

Fisher Memorial House
This Casa Grande house was built in 1927 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. When listed, it was considered an outstanding example of a Period Revival residential and commercial building executed in local material of uncoursed fieldstone construction. The house is currently in a significant state of disrepair. Some windows and doors are missing or damaged and the roof is leaking, which can cause structural damage.
Photo: Marge Jantz

Geronimo Station
Located between Safford and Globe on the westbound side of Interstate 70 is a small store, gas station, and four-casita motel (complete with carports between the units). Constructed of adobe in the 1930s and 1940s to accommodate travelers heading west, it is one of the few original buildings still standing in the state-registered historic townsite of Geronimo. The property is in poor condition and is deteriorating from neglect.

Photo: Kurt Wenner

Glendale Tract Community Center
The Glendale Tract Community Center, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a 1,900 square foot adobe structure built in 1937. The social hall served the surrounding residential subdivision developed by the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency. The 24-home Glendale Tract subdivision was created as part of a plan to relocate displaced farmers and unemployed urban workers to planned, part-time subsistence farm projects where they could grow their own crops. The current historic district consists of 13 of the original houses and the community center, all of which are rare examples of New Deal programs. The owners want to redevelop the parcel, demolish the community center, and build eight residential units. While the City of Glendale has rejected the initial plans for the site, it is only because the City will not allow more than five residences to be built. The owner needs eight to make their project viable, but if they can make due with a smaller number of residences, there is little to stop the demolition.

Photo: Ronald Short

Gonzalez Martinez House
The modest vernacular Gonzalez Martinez House is one of only two buildings from Tempe’s formative first decade, constructed by Ramon Gonzalez in 1880 of locallyproduced adobe. In 1892, Jesus Martinez purchased the property in whose family it miraculously remained for more than 90 years. Given all the changes that have occurred in and around downtown Tempe, it is surprising that the structure has survived. The reason may have more to do with a long-standing property dispute only recently resolved between the City, State, and railroad. Without intervention, the house will most likely be lost to inner city decline. The entire site is of sufficient size to be used for high-density development.

Photo: City of Tempe

Kingman Multiple Resources
In 1986, Kingman residents celebrated the listing of a multitude of historic properties to the National Register of Historic Places. However, since that time, some of these properties have been subjected to abuses and neglect less than deserving of nationally recognized treasures. The local parish owns the J. B. Wright House (1900) and St. Mary's Church (1906). The former was listed on the 2005 Most Endangered Places List, but removed in 2006 when parish leadership assured the Foundation that they intended to preserve the building. However, the Foundation recently learned they changed their mind and decided that the site would be more beneficial to the church as a parking lot; likewise with the church.

Photo: leadhiker, waymarking.com

Maple Ash Neighborhood
The Maple Ash Neighborhood consists of three subdivisions, the largest concentration of historic resources in Tempe. The Gage Addition, Park Tract, and College View subdivisions are significant as one of Tempe’s oldest surviving neighborhoods. The area is adjacent to downtown Tempe, Arizona State University, and Tempe St. Luke's Hospital, each of which have exerted pressure on the neighborhood at various times in the past. While the City Historic Preservation Commission and Office and a majority of the neighborhood’s historic home owners would like to have a historic district zoning overlay placed on the neighborhood, the property is zoned multifamily and many owners would prefer to develop their properties. Without some kind of protections, preservation advocates see the historic character of the neighborhood, and with it any potential designation to the National Register of Historic Places, in jeopardy.

Photo: City of Tempe

Marist College
The three-story, Marist College was built in 1915 by Manual Flores, a Tucson contractor. A component of the downtown precinct of the Diocese of Tucson, the school provided a Catholic education for boys from elementary school to high school sophomore year. It was an educational facility until 1968, when it became office space for the Diocese of Tucson. It has been vacant since 2002. Marist College is threatened by structural destabilization caused by the collapse of two corners and the cracking of a third. This deterioration is due to water penetration that comes from leaks in the roof and from the scupper and downspout drainage system. A replastering 30 years ago with a plasticized composite stucco (Tuff-Tex) has cracked and spalled, allowing water to penetrate the walls but preventing the adobe from drying. Emergency bracing has temporarily stabilized the building, but there is a clear and present danger of collapse if a permanent solution is not implemented.

Photo: Eric Vondy

Meehan/Gaar House
Built in 1903 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Casa Grande house is an unusual example of the Colonial Revival influence executed in adobe. The structure is also significant for its association with two of Casa Grande's well-known citizens: Tom J. Meehan who built the house, owned Gilt Edge Saloon, and served on the Casa Grande Board of Trade; and Fanne Gaar who served on the City Council and was the first woman to be elected mayor of an Arizona city. The Meehan/Gaar House is currently in a state of disrepair with deteriorating veranda, roofing, and adobe walls.

Photo: Marge Jantz

Mesa Citrus Growers Association Building
The 1935 citrus packinghouse is located at the southwest corner of Mesa’s town center at Broadway and Country Club. Adjacent to the railroad, its output was easily shipped. The complex represents the heyday of Valley agriculture, particularly citrus growing. With citrus acreage rapidly being replaced by new development, the packinghouse now is the last example of the once powerful citrus industry in metro Phoenix. With packing operations suspended in June 2010, the site has been put up for sale, thereby placing the structures at risk for clearing and new development.

Photo: Tim Hacker

Mountain View Colored Officers Club
High on a hill overlooking Fort Huachuca Army base in Sierra Vista sits a dilapidated building that once echoed with the sublime song stylings of Lena Horne during World War II. She came to entertain the black troops at the Mountain View Colored Officers Club, built in 1942 by the thensegregated Army for its growing number of colored soldiers. A plan to preserve that building and turn it into an AfricanAmerican military research center is on the drawing board, but an estimated $3 million is needed to save and convert the club.

Photo: Parade Magazine

Old U.S. 80 Bridge
Located on the Gila River below the community of Arlington and adjacent to the Gillespie Dam, the bridge, though obsolete, has been in continuous use for over 80 years. The bridge went into service in 1927 as an all-weather crossing of the Gila River. As part of U.S. 80, the bridge was a component in the early transcontinental highway system. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge possesses a high degree of integrity and provides a local transportation corridor for daily travel and during times of high water on the Gila River. It is also the only suspension bridge in Maricopa County and one of very few in Arizona. The bridge is in danger of failure and catastrophic loss due to bent steel truss compression members, deficient roller bearings that distribute weight and adjust thermal stresses, and the potential of washout during a significant flood. Action is needed to repair and restore the structure so it can continue to be used and appreciated for the future.

Photo: Wikipedia

Peter T. Robinson House
A 1905 brick cottage with Neo-Classical influence listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Peter T. Robinson was a prominent local attorney, active in Yuma community affairs. The house is vacant and is broken into regularly. The roof is open to the sky, the floor is caving in, and a small fire destroyed the eastern portico and some of the roof over the kitchen.

Photo: Vincent Murray

Sage Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
The Ganado Mission was established in 1901 by the Presbytery of Arizona through the Board of Home Missions. A decade later, the board approved a twelve bed hospital at Ganado. This was the first non-governmental funded hospital on an Indian reservation in the U.S. Approximately 60 buildings were built before 1957, including the 1903 manse, 1911 Adobe West, 1920 Dining Hall (one of the oldest and largest two-story adobes in the U.S, and 1929 Almira College. The Sage Memorial Hospital School of Nursing was the first accredited nursing training program in the U.S. for Native American women. Over the last 30 years, drainage problems have detrimentally affected the foundations of some of the structures due to uncontrolled runoff and soil expansion. Unabated, the differential settlement may cause the foundations to shift and the structures to fail. The wiring is outdated, and in some cases 100 years old, creating potential fire hazards. A water storage reservoir does not hold enough water for fire protection.

Photo: National Park Service

San Ysidro Ranch Ruins
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the San Ysidro Hacienda was the home of Jose Maria Redondo, an early Arizona pioneer. The ranch once contained over 2,000 acres, but subsequent to the death of Redondo in 1878, his family could not make a claim to more than 160 under American homestead laws; not enough land to support the hacienda's extensive agricultural operations and it quickly fell into ruin. The site once contained the adobe ruins of the main ranch house, a two-story mill, and rubble mounds; the original headquarters included a cane mill, numerous storehouses, workhouses, stables, carriage house, harness house; and houses for approximately 100 laborers' families built outside the walls of the headquarters. Named for the patron saint of agriculture, it was the first large non-Indian irrigated farm in Arizona with 27 miles of canals and ditches bringing water from Gila River. Recent urban development has encroached on the site and the ruins are now at risk.

Photo: Yuma Sun

Sun Mercantile Building
Designed by E.W. Bacon and constructed by Wells & Son, the 1929 Sun Mercantile Building is the first and only known warehouse built and owned by a Chineseborn businessman in Phoenix (Tang Shing). It is the last remaining building of the city’s second Chinatown. Developers of a hotel and condo project want to insert an 11-story tower inside the walls of this city-owned structure, listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and Phoenix Historic Property Register. After the Phoenix City Council's unanimous vote on December 14, 2005 to allow the "facadomy," the Save Sun Merc Coalition, Arizona Preservation Foundation, and twelve other groups filed an appeal in Maricopa County Superior Court and received a favorable ruling from the judge.

Photo: Wikipedia

White Gates House
Perhaps the first residential design by architect Al Beadle, the White Gates House was probably influenced by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1951 Farnsworth House. Previous owners gutted the interior and scraped the landscape from the property. Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, the house sits vacant. Homes in the neighborhood sell in the seven figures and the property is valuable for redevelopment. If action is not taken soon, the owner may be required by the City to demolish the house and sell the property.

Photo: David Cook

For more information or to volunteer
•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Adamsville Ruins, Coolidge Arizona State Parks, Statewide Arizona State University Historic Properties, Tempe Basque Pelota Ball Court, Flagstaff Buckhorn Baths, Mesa Camp Naco, Huachuca City Copper Miner Monument, Bisbee Empire Ranch, Pima County First Baptist Church, Phoenix Fisher Memorial Home, Casa Grande Geronimo Station, Geronimo Glendale Tract Community Center, Glendale Gonzalez Martinez House, Tempe •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Kingman Multiple Resources, Kingman Maple Ash Neighborhood, Tempe Marist College, Tucson Meehan/Gaar House, Casa Grande Mesa Citrus Growers Association Building, Mesa Mountain View Colored Officers Club, Sierra Vista Old U.S. 80 Bridge (Gillespie Dam Bridge), Arlington Peter T. Robertson Residence, Yuma Sage Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Ganado San Ysidro Ranch Ruins, Yuma Sun Mercantile Building, Phoenix White Gates House, Phoenix

About the Foundation
•  The Arizona Preservation Foundation is Arizona's nonprofit statewide historic preservation organization. Founded in 1979, the Foundation is dedicated to preserving Arizona's historic, archaeological, architectural, and cultural resources. •  The Foundation offers a variety of services and programs, including: Arizona Historic Preservation Conference, Governor's Heritage Preservation Awards; Speakers Bureau, Preservation Resource List, and Arizona's Most Endangered Places List. •  For more information, visit the Foundation on the Internet at azpreservation.org or on Facebook.

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