Evans House

Evans H_Library of Congress-01-01-01

year | 1893

location | 1100 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ

style | Victorian – Queen Anne

builder | Dr. John M. Evans

previous use | private residence

current use | office building

super sweet details | Predating the Rosson House in Heritage Square by one year, this little-Victorian-cottage-that-could packs a serious punch with details ranging from an onion-shaped dome to half-timbering to decorative wood shingles. The house’s most notable residents were Phoenix power couple Virginia and Oscar Mahoney, doctors who opened a joint practice in 1883. Today, it’s owned by the State of Arizona and houses the State Historic Preservation Office.

verdict: super rad.

Historic photo cred HABS, Library of Congress.

More info herehere and here.


Security Building

year | 1928

location | 234 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

style | Second Renaissance Revival

architect | Curlett & Beelman

previous use | Security Improvement Company offices

current use | Maricopa County offices

super sweet details |This gorgeous 9-story red brick beauty on Central Avenue, just south of the Valley Metro Central Station, isn’t actually constructed of brick–it’s reinforced concrete with a hand-molded brick veneer. It was commissioned by Dwight D. Heard, publisher of the Arizona Republic, in 1928, and was known for its speed of construction. The 9th story penthouse wasn’t added until 1958, when it served as the private residence of Walter Bimson, president of Valley National Bank. A lighthouse-type beacon originally shone from the top of the tower and could reportedly be seen from 30 miles away.

verdict: totally rad.

Historic photo cred Arizona State University Libraries: Arizona Collection.

More info here and here.

Phoenix Title and Trust | Orpheum Lofts

year | 1931

location | 114 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, AZ

style | Art Deco

architect | Lescher & Mahoney

previous uses | Phoenix Title and Trust office building, 1931-2003.

current use | Orpheum Lofts, 2004-Present.

super sweet details | Yet another Lescher & Mahoney gem in downtown Phoenix, the Title and Trust Building was considered the “most modern office building in the West” for several years.  In 2003, most of the upper floors were essentially gutted in order to accommodate 90 residential units, exposing original brick walls and ductwork and adding to the “modern” feel of the lofts.  However, the lobby is still in near-pristine condition, featuring original travertine and marble floors, stamped metal doors, mailboxes, and baseboards.

verdict: totally rad.

Bottom-right photo courtesy Russ Lyon Sotheby’s.

Monroe School | Phoenix Children’s Museum

year | 1913

location | 215 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ

style | Neoclassical Revival

architect | Norman Marsh

previous uses | Monroe Grade School, 1913-1972.

current use | Phoenix Children’s Museum, 2008-Present.

super sweet details | This colossal Neoclassical building was once considered the “most modern grade school in the United States.”  Although the building was abandoned in 1972 due to dwindling student enrollment, a push by alumni of the school prompted the adaptive reuse of the school into the Phoenix Children’s Museum.  Now, the three-story building’s exterior retains all of its character-defining features, while the inside is full of really bright, fun and engaging exhibits designed especially for kids–and their parents.

verdict: super rad.

Right-hand photo courtesy of Phoenix City Living.

More information on visiting the Children’s Museum here.

Phoenix Union High School | University of Arizona College of Medicine

year | 1912-1928

location | 512 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ

style | Renaissance, Beaux-Arts

architects | Norman F. Marsh

previous use | Phoenix Union High School, 1912-1982; office space, 1985-2007.

current use | University of Arizona College of Medicine satellite campus, 2007-Present.

super sweet details | America’s first high-school Junior ROTC program originated at Phoenix Union High School in 1917.  As the school’s population grew exponentially, more and more Phoenix campuses were added–including North and West high schools.  During the 1950s, the Phoenix Union Coyotes varsity basketball team won a staggering 55 games in a row over a three-season period.  After extensive renovations in the late 1980s, the buildings are now occupied by the U of A’s satellite medical campus.

verdict: totally rad.

Both historic photographs courtesy of Brad Hall for Phoenix Arizona Historical Images.  Click the link for a ton of great photographs of early Phoenix!

Phoenix Union Station

year | 1923

location | 401 S. 4th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

style | Mission Revival

architect | Peter Kiewit

previous use | Union Station of the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads, 1923-1995.

current use | Housing for communications servers; closed to the public, 1996-present.

super sweet details | Arguably one of the coolest, yet most under-appreciated and under-utilized historic buildings in downtown Phoenix, Union Station’s rooms are now filled with servers for several communications companies.  This building was the origin of the 1931 Winnie Ruth Judd “trunk murders,” when Phoenician Winnie chopped up her two best friends and sent them in a couple of trunks to Los Angeles.  Even though it’s closed to the public, the station still features its original penny tiles and soaring ceilings, as well as many other interior and exterior details–although some of that is obscured by the many cell phone towers which surround the building.  Personally, I’m hoping to see the station converted into some sort of public adaptive reuse project during my time in Phoenix.

verdict: (potentially) totally rad.

Bottom-left and bottom-right photos courtesy of Jon Talton of Rogue Columnist.

One of my favorite articles on Union Station’s history and its current use.

The Gold Spot Shopping Center

year | 1925

location | 1001 N. 3rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

style | Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival

architect | unknown

previous uses | Shopping Center and Grocery, 1925-1983.

current use | Marketing Center, 2003-Present.

super sweet details | So, apart from being the home of my new favorite cafe, Lola Coffee Bar, this building has a pretty cool story.  It was once the only residential shopping center serving the Roosevelt district, and housed several grocery stores and delis over the years.  In 1983, it was abandoned and fell into disrepair over the next 20 years, as it sat empty.  In 2003, Marlene Imirzian & Associates Architects became determined to restore the building as a Roosevelt community hub, using the only remaining historic photograph (see bottom-right).  There were many who felt the building was beyond repair, but the Roosevelt community expressed great support for the architect’s dream and, later in the year, the Gold Spot was opened once again.  Today, Pita Jungle, Lola Coffee Bar, The Painter’s Lounge, and Salon RO5 are housed here, and the building is a cornerstone of the Roosevelt urban scene.

verdict: super rad.

Top-left and bottom-right photos courtesy of Yuri Artibise.