Category Archives: Tempe

Officials recommend historic designation for Tempe Butte

[Source: William Hermann, Arizona Republic] — The history of Tempe Butte is written in stone, and city officials want to keep it that way, which is why they’re seeking a “historic” designation for the site. Tempe Butte is the big desert hill adorned with an “A” that towers over Sun Devil Stadium. It’s from the top of that butte that Charles Trumbull Hayden, founder of Tempe, in 1869 looked out on the largely deserted Salt River Valley and decided it would be a good place to settle. The butte also is where the Hohokam Indians lived between about A.D. 500 and 1450. They considered the butte holy and left upon its rocks some 500 petroglyphs.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Mark Henle, Arizona Republic.]

Justice’s Paradise Valley adobe home slated for preservation

[Source: Kathy Shayna Shocket, Republic] — The 50-year-old adobe home where Sandra Day O’Connor often turned heated state politics into decisions over chalupas and tortillas will reign supreme once more as an arena for civic discourse. Rather than watching the adobe tucked away on a Paradise Valley cul-de-sac fall to a bulldozer, O’Connor and her friends are saving the home where she and husband John raised their three sons, Scott, Brian and Jay. “My husband John and I first bought over an acre of land for a grand sum of $4,000,” the first female U.S. Supreme Court justice said during a nostalgic visit just before workers began dismantling the home for its move to Tempe.

The home will be moved next to the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park and renamed the O’Connor House and Center for Civic Discourse. On her recent visit to the Denton Lane house, O’Connor slid her hand along an adobe wall as if it were one of the living desert creatures she adores. “John and I hand-scraped every one of these indentations in the adobe ourselves with an electric conduit, because the builder wasn’t prepared to do that,” she said. The O’Connors lived there from 1958 to 1981.

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