Best Relocation (2008)

The O'Connor House Project

Too many times in Arizona, we hear about wonderful old historic sites only when they're facing the wrecking ball (see: the Sun Mercantile building, the former Beth Hebree Temple, Mary Rose Wilcox's now-bulldozed 105-year-old home). Even when they end up being spared demolition, we rarely see these sites being preserved in any meaningful way. So this spring, when we heard that the Paradise Valley adobe built by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had been slated for demolition, then was saved, then was being moved to a lovely new site in Tempe and (hopefully) transformed into a "Center for Public Discourse," we were stunned. Since when does anything nice get solved so efficiently? The O'Connor House Project, of course, still has plenty of money to raise to make the dream of public discourse a reality. But we can say this, with finality: This is one old building that is being saved. And the new location is gorgeous.


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