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CommunityWalk Map – Midcentury Marvels of Phoenix

Sedona mulls mid-year budget; spares arts & historic preservation

[Source: Cyndy Hardy,] — Sedona is weathering the economic storm better than many Arizona cities; but not without concern and not without tightening its belt. The Sedona City Council approved some reductions Tuesday that mainly affect unspent but budgeted expenditures. For now, city employees and some outside organizations that receive city grants avoided the chopping block. That could change early next year if the economy doesn’t improve.

In the best worst-case scenario, the city expects to tap the city’s approximately $10 million rainy day fund by about $500,000; which is about five percent of the general fund reserves, according to Interim City Manager Alison Zelms.  The council showed little resistance to the possibility considering the long-term economic forecast. “Having a reserve fund just to worship rather that to use is missing the point,” said Councilman Cliff Hamilton. “This is exactly what it’s there for.”

The current cuts affect the city’s general fund.  The City Council trimmed the general fund in October when it reduced the budget for the redevelopment plan by $300,000. At Tuesday’s meeting, the council added cuts for departmental non-salary expenditures that will reduce expenditures without cutting city staff. Most city departments historically spend between three and five percent below their annual budget. The council’s action increased that target to 10 percent below budget, including a 25-percent reduction in training and travel costs. The council froze spending of about $300,000 remaining in the contingency fund; hiring for unfilled positions; and filling new positions approved in this year’s budget including an environmental inspector, a part-time IT position, and two part-time parking attendants.

Since tourism is down, the council deferred $16,500 for a visitor intercept study that may prove more useful in the long run when the economy rebounds.  The City Council rejected a recommendation to cut city grants already budgeted to arts and historic preservation organizations.  “I think the concern is that many of the arts organizations have already budgeted and are anticipating for this money to come in.  To do it now seems a bit unfair,” said Mayor Rob Adams.  But the city may have to reduce its grants programs in the next fiscal year. The council advised them to plan accordingly.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Oro Valley seeks volunteers for HP Commission

[Source: Arizona Daily Star] — Oro Valley is now accepting applications from residents to fill a two-year term on the town’s Historic Preservation Commission.  The volunteer commission works to preserve historic buildings, districts, landmarks, structures, documents, photographs and other artifacts related to the development of the greater Oro Valley area.  The group meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of every month at Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive.  Applications are available at Town Hall or online at by clicking on “Town Clerk” and “Boards & Commissions/Volunteers.”  The deadline is Jan. 5 to apply for the position.

PHX11 steps back in history

[Source: City of Phoenix] — PHX11 takes viewers to historic properties that still impact our city today on the next edition of “Everything Phoenix,” hosted by Sydney Blaine.  Starting with the cemetery at Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, viewers will see the final resting place of notable figures in Arizona history and folklore.  Next, tour one of the most extravagant venues of its day, the Orpheum Theatre, which first opened in 1929.  See the results of the Orpheum’s 12-year restoration project and how the historic theatre reopened adjacent to the newly built Phoenix City Hall. PHX11 brings you back to the present with the story of the McCarty Apartments, developed by Leon McCarty to provide quality housing for the city’s minority residents in 1963.  Learn how the legacy will continue with the redevelopment project that will bring new affordable housing for seniors when the McCarty on Monroe Apartments open in 2010.

The program will air on PHX11 at the following times: 6 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1; 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 10 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3; 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4; 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov.4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4; 2 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5; 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5; 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov.5; and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5.  For additional program replay times, click here.

Phoenix’s Montgomery House stabilization work begins

Stabilization work has begun on the historic Montgomery House, 7th Avenue and Mohave, in the original Phoenix townsite. Dave Norton, project manager, reports that:

  • The original stucco is being tested for lime/cement content in order to come up with a stucco mix design per historic briefs recommendations. Once the stucco mix is determined, stucco repair will begin.
  • The chimney is being repointed and repaired. Thereafter it will be stuccoed per the original construction.
  • Several adobe bricks have been made from existing material on the site. Once the bricks have cured, adobe repairs will take place.

The project is being undertaken by the Arizona Preservation Foundation and D.L. Norton General Contracting in partnership with the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona Lottery, and private contributors. To support the effort, please contact Lisa Henderson, APF President, at 602-771-1134 or via e-mail.

A message from the APF President

APF has just returned from our 6th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Rio Rico and we couldn’t be more excited with the outcome. Thank you to all who attended! This year’s theme, Preservation on the Line, drew a large crowd. We hosted more than 270 planning officials, preservation advocates, and citizens from across the state. Our Governor’s Honor Awards Luncheon saw record attendance numbers. Ten excellent restoration projects and the people who made them happen were honored. APF would like to congratulate this year’s award winners, including the 2008 Grand Award Winner, the Curley School Restoration in Ajo. Click here to view detailed descriptions and photos of the 2008 award winners. And make sure to check the APF website for information on next year’s Historic Preservation Conference at the Hyatt in Phoenix.

APF would like to extend a special thanks to our 2008 conference Sponsors:

Arizona Lottery
Archeological Consulting Services, Ltd.
SWCA Environmental Consultants
Statistical Research, Inc.
Kimley-Horn and Associates
DL Norton
Gammage & Burnham
Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico
Gila River Casino
Ballard Spahr
City of Tucson
Option II Advisors

Gregory C. Michael

Invitation to Aldo Leopold planning discussions

Next year, 2009, marks the centennial of Aldo Leopold’s arrival in the Southwest. In addition, 2009 is the 100th anniversary of Leopold’s “wolf-shooting” incident, a seminal moment in environmental history, described in the essay “Thinking Like a Mountain,” a cornerstone of A Sand County Almanac. That event took place on a mountain near Springerville, Arizona. We are sharing plans and asking for ideas to help develop grassroots events observing Leopold’s role in the Southwest. Numerous organizations are collaborating to call attention to the past, present, and, most vitally, the future of the Leopold legacy: an ethical relationship with the land and the ways in which this relationship helps us meet the challenges of conservation in the 21st century. The Leopold legacy in the Southwest includes the contributions of his wife, Estella Luna Bergere of New Mexico, and two of their five children, Luna and Starker, scientists who have done keystone work on Southwestern water and wildlife.

A two-hour documentary about Leopold is being produced for 2009, and New Mexico groups are well along in developing a year-long series of conferences, exhibits, field trips, symposia, and products. We are holding three meetings for interested individuals in Arizona to plan complementary events in this state. What makes Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac so rich is that it pulls together many different disciplines: philosophy, ecology, history, and literature, among them. That variety suggests many opportunities to create partnerships and community collaborations. In addition, the Hispanic connection provided by Estella’s family, as well as the work of the Leopold children, expands the potential and significance even more widely. There are many unexplored opportunities; we’re hopeful that collective efforts can bring them to fruition.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation has also expressed interest in assisting our efforts. We plan to meet in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson, to gather people with ideas and collaborative interests. Each session will begin at 2 p.m. and last approximately two hours:

  • March 17: Flagstaff, NAU Cline Library, Room 200
  • March 18: Phoenix, Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington Street
  • March 19: Tucson, Federal Building, Room 1K, 300 W. Congress Street

Can you join us? At this meeting we will list possible and planned activities, explore their overlap with other plans in the Southwest, consider timelines and possible funding sources, and explore potential partnerships, action items, and marketing ideas. Projects underway or being considered include: teacher institutes, a statewide reading program, watershed restorations, a gubernatorial proclamation, conferences, documentaries, a speakers bureau, and lecture series. Please contact Dan Shilling ( to let us know if you or a representative can attend, or if not, how you might participate in other ways. If you have questions, call Dan at 602-300-6694.

Gary Paul Nabhan, NAU Center for Sustainable Environments
Rita Cantu, U.S. Forest Service
Dan Shilling, ASU Institute for Humanities, Fellow 07-08

Governor establishes Arizona Centennial Commission

Last week, Governor Janet Napolitano signed an executive order establishing the Arizona Centennial Commission (AZCC). This Commission is charged with planning a year-long celebration of Arizona’s 100th birthday, culminating on Feb. 14, 2012. Although Arizona’s centennial is still four years away, preparations are underway to ensure communities across the Grand Canyon State can enjoy and participate in Centennial celebrations.

AZCC will develop a master plan that contains five major components: generating awareness and engagement by providing a sense of unity and pride among residents; developing participation programs, which include a robust calendar of activities to celebrate the year-long Centennial; implementing educational programs that focus on the state’s past, present and future; collaborating with the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission on legacy projects, such as working with communities to highlight their unique historical value; and establishing avenues for resources and funding to encourage and support planning at the state and local level for major projects.

The Arizona Office of Tourism will play a major role in supporting the Commission with implementing many of the programs to be held throughout the state. To assist the Commission in achieving these goals, AOT Assistant Deputy Director Karen Churchard has been assigned to spearhead the strategic planning and development for the Centennial celebrations. Karen’s experience and knowledge as a marketing and special events professional, which includes 22 years with the Fiesta Bowl organization as well as bringing Super Bowl XLII to Arizona, will benefit the effort.

Questioning Sedona’s Barbara Antonsen memorial park concept (op-ed)

[Source: M.R.,] — As a Sedona resident I am curious about what has happened between the time the Friends of the Posse Grounds first approached the city with the idea of “restoring the historic stage and surrounding landscape” with a “small park for families and friends,” to what it has morphed into today. There is no resemblance between what was originally presented for 100+ people or presented in article after article through 2005-2006 on their website, and what this project has turned into (700+ person venue). Question for the incumbents and candidates – why has this happened? They need to reverse this decision to its original intent, but will they? Another point to call all candidates’ attention to would be the proposed use of the Arizona State Parks grant money toward the funding of Barbara’s Park. Using any of those funds would be breaking the conditions of the Public – Private agreement that the city entered into with the Friends of the Posse Grounds on 5/24/2005.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photos: original rendering of the park (top); current rendering (bottom).]

2008-09 Save Our History grant available

The Save Our History Grant Program provides funding to history organizations that partner with schools on a local community preservation project. During the 2008-2009 school year, The History Channel will again award grants of up to $10,000 to historical organizations to fund hands-on, experiential educational projects that teach students about their local history and actively engage them in its preservation.

Since launching the Save Our History Grant Program in 2004, The History Channel has awarded $1,000,000 in grants to organizations and schools large and small, urban, suburban and rural, in the northern, southern, eastern, western, and central United States. For guidelines and an application, click on, and then click on grants. Applications are due Friday, June 6, 2008.