Category Archives: Sedona

Sedona’s Homolovi Ruins State Park celebrates Suvoyuki Day

[Source: Ellen Bilbrey, Gateway to Sedona] — “Suvoyuki” translated in the Hopi language means to accomplish work through at “joint effort.” “Suvoyuki Day” is an open house day at Homolovi Ruins State Park that celebrates the partners who have helped to protect and save Homolovi area archaeological and cultural sites from destruction. The event begins on Friday, July 11, at 7 p.m., with a talk about the Hopi culture.

On Saturday, July 12, the day begins at 6 a.m., with a traditional Hopi morning run (4 and 6.5 miles) with all participants invited. Following the run, the Hopi corn roasting pit will be opened and all will get a taste of freshly roasted sweet corn. Throughout the day, there will be Hopi artist demonstrations, traditional food demonstrations and lectures. Archaeologists will also be there to interpret the sites. Parking will be available on the northeast corner of Interstate 40 and State Route 87. Shuttle service will then be available from there to the park. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Sedona Historic Preservation Commission hosts tours of historic places in Sedona in May

[Source:] — Sedona will join thousands of people around the country as part of a nationwide celebration of National Preservation Month in May 2008. “This Place Matters” is the theme of this year’s celebration, which is sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since the National Trust created Preservation Week in 1971 to spotlight grassroots preservation efforts in America, it has grown into an annual month-long celebration observed by small towns and big cities. The purpose is to celebrate the diverse and irreplaceable heritage of our country’s cities and states and enable more Americans to become involved in the growing preservation movement.

An event in honor of National Historic Preservation Month for Sedona is being planned by the Sedona Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Friday, May 16th the Commission will co-host an open house at the historic Hart Store, now Hummingbird House on Brewer Road from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The open house will celebrate the Hart Store being added to the National Register of Historic Places. More details will be forthcoming about this free street party intended for the entire community. Pioneer descendants and Hart relatives are planning to attend.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo: Janeen Trevillyan (center holding paper), Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson, leads a recent tour in Uptown, Sedona.]

Sedona’s Historic Preservation Commission announces first “Most Endangered Places” list

[Source: City of Sedona, Historic Preservation Commission] — The City of Sedona’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) announces its first “Sedona’s Most Endangered Places” list. The list is intended to bring attention to endangered historic resources through the use of a publicized list. It is hoped that the list will not only bring awareness, but will generate ideas and support for preservation of important historic properties in the City. “The HPC put a lot of thought into the creation of this program and the identification of these first properties.”, said Commission Chairperson, Janeen Trevillyan. “The program itself is based on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s program. Considering the pressures of development and build-out in Sedona, the high percentage of historic properties in intense zoning areas of the city, and the rarity of historic structures in town, this seemed like one more way the Commission could bring attention to the fragility of our few historic resources.”

Kathy Levin, Associate Planner in the City’s Community Development Dept. outlined the criteria for the HPC’s inclusion of properties on this new list. That criteria includes the 1.) significance or architectural, artistic, and/or historic importance of a site; and/or 2.) urgency for immediate action to stop or reverse serious threats; and/or 3.) the existence of potential solutions that can remove the threat. “The Commission hopes that these criteria will stimulate positive action and they feel the properties on this first list illustrate some or all of these important local historical themes.”, she stated. The HPC met several times and made site visits in order to determine what properties should be included on this list. They considered their condition, known or presumed threats, and potential solutions for preservation. They carefully limited this list to the properties they considered most critical in need. The City of Sedona’s Historic Preservation Commission’s first “Sedona’s Most Endangered Places” list is as follows, and in no particular order:

  • The Elmer & Lizzie Purtymun House (at Lomacasi), 1924
    The Purtymun house (pictured) built by members of the fourth permanent family in Oak Creek Canyon is a typical Sedona vernacular house of its era and is potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The owner is currently seeking permission to develop the site for high-intensity commercial uses and potential solutions for preservation might be to incorporate the house into the development, or move it on the site to an undeveloped area of the project.
  • Madole-Rigby House, circa. 1948
    This adobe house was built for Douglas and Elisabeth Rigby, and is perhaps the oldest adobe house in Sedona. It was designed by Howard Madole and built by his family. Madole is known as Sedona first designer to use modern design and building materials. It also may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. This home sits in the center of a large vacant parcel that could experience dense development. A potential solution would be to incorporate it into any new development on the site.
  • Irrigation Ditches, begun in 1880s
    Sedona’s earliest settlers built irrigation ditches from Oak Creek to their farms. These ditches contributed to our orchard history. Some are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. These ditches have many owners with varying degrees of interest in preservation and they are occasionally damaged by flooding. While some owners on these linear landmarks have received Local Landmark status for the ditch segments on their property, a final solution to preservation would be to have the balance of owners agree to “Local Landmark” status.
  • Old Post Office, circa. 1938
    Charley Thompson, descendant of our first permanent settler, built this structure along the ‘new’ road in Uptown Sedona to replace the post office washed away by the 1938 flood. The building was relocated to Brewer Road sometime after a new post office was built in 1950. This building sits on a large commercially zoned mostly vacant parcel that is prime for large and intense development. Potential solutions could be either incorporation into any new development or move to another site.

For more information about this list or the work of the Historic Preservation Commission, call Kathy Levin at 928-203-5035.

Sierra Club opposes Barbara Antonsen Memorial Park in Sedona

[Source: Sierra Club Sedona-Verde Valley Group] — The Sierra Club Sedona-Verde Valley Group opposes transfer of the AZ Heritage Fund Grant monies to rebuild the ”re-born” 600+ capacity Cultural Center at Posse Grounds Park. We are opposed to the construction of the proposed Cultural Center at Posse Grounds Park for the following reasons:


This property was proactively cleared of smaller plants in mid-Fall, 2007 just before the “area of construction” was outlined and a pole denoting height of structure were installed. Twenty large mature pinions and junipers and almost as many large (5’) native shrubs (Manzanita, live Oak) would have to be removed for the construction further degrading the site. Although the “Friends of Posse Grounds Park, Inc.” (“Friends”) have maintained that the trees could be transplanted; checking with local arborists suggests that the transplant success rate even under the best conditions would be far less than 50%. This Park is also already overused and overbuilt with 16 playing fields, West Sedona elementary school, a teen center, skate park, dog park, community swimming pool and popular hiking trails – and insufficient parking (less than 140 parking spaces). It is also not directly accessible from a major highway (as the first Center was) without first traversing contiguous neighborhoods.

City of Sedona money mismanagement; lack of city skills; and coercive behavior toward residents

The City has an obvious lack of skills to oversee, maintain, and run such a venue; we note the failure of the City to properly manage and ensure the Heritage Fund grant funds before its release to a non-profit organization responsible for building and operating the Sedona Cultural Park, and subsequent bankruptcy of the non-profit resulting from the City’s lack of oversight – notably Public money mismanagement. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Is Sedona putting all of its eggs in one basket? (op-ed)

[Source:] — Sedona’s current Mayor “Pud” Colquitt, who is vying for reelection, proudly lists the following as one of the City Council’s major accomplishments during her term as Mayor: “…the Heritage Grant funding threatened with the failure of the original Cultural Park by negotiating to transfer funds to the Barbara Antonsen Park and the Creekwalk projects” (Sedona Verde Valley Times, Volume 1, Issue 4, February 2008). She neglects to mention that as of this date, such a feat has not been accomplished, or that her campaign treasurer and former Community Services Director is a major spokesperson for the “Friends of the Posse Grounds Park, Inc.” (the “Friends”). This group is a City selected non-profit organization leading the effort to put a performance venue in the almost entirely recreational Posse Grounds Park. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

City of Sedona gambling with its Arizona Heritage Fund grant

[Source:] — The Sedona Cultural Park may have closed its doors five years ago, but it’s ghost is alive and well in the guise of the Barbara Antonsen Memorial Park and Pavilion. Plans to plop a geodesic dome in the midst of a recreational overbuilt Posse Ground Park (populated with 16 various courts, fields, underutilized teen center, dog park, swimming pool, elementary school and unregulated skateboard park bordered by two of Sedona’s longest established neighborhoods and one exclusive and relatively new subdivision) are moving along rapidly with the help of the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The matching grant of $586,600 was awarded to the City of Sedona for fiscal year 1995-1996 and, in turn, given to the non-profit organization responsible for establishing and maintaining the Sedona Cultural Park project. However, the City neglected to protect its interest by securing the grant in the event that the Cultural Park defaulted (and when it did, the City had no recourse). Included in this grant were; a two level amphitheatre, site preparation, sod, stage utilities, tree preservation, landscaping irrigation, fencing, lighting, ticket area, picnic/shade ramadas, tables and benches, restrooms, roads, lights, sewer, potable water, gas, electric, telephone and signage. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]