Best Building Restoration - 2009
Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park
Historically speaking, Phoenix is a young town. There are no Medieval castles or Colonial courthouses, and most of the historic properties that do exist here have fallen into disrepair or been long forgotten. That's why we were thrilled to see the city invest two years and over $5 million in the restoration of Steele Indian School Park's Memorial Hall, which stood vacant since the '90s. Built in 1922, the gorgeous brick building features Mission Revival-style architecture, arched windows, and huge interior ballrooms originally used for school assemblies. Much of the building's original character remains, from exterior bricks bearing the names of former students to the refinished hardwood floors. The city isn't a Grinch with the newly prettified space either — Memorial Hall is open for tours, private parties, and the 350-seat theater rents to local dance companies.