Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.
The Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition recently released its 2011 Most enDangered Dozen Historic Places list. The coalition, made up of Phoenicians in the historic scene, was asked what they would consider the most at-risk structures, says "Lost Phoenix" blogger and local local historian Marshall Shore who has been a part of the committee for the past two years.
The committee's response, as a whole, added three new at-risk areas to a list of already-in-peril buildings that have appeared on previous enDangered lists.
This year, an emphasis was put on improving the conditions of two Downtown hotels (St. James and Madison), citywide vintage neon signs, and alerting the public of the Arcadia 'teardown syndrome" (a late-'90s trend in the Arcadia community when investors and house-flippers scoured for cheap older houses to tear down and built anew).
The Arcadia teardowns category was added after a house from the previous year's list was demolished. "As of last week, we found out about a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was being remodeled," Shore says, disappointed. "It'll look nice ... it just won't be a Wright house anymore."
Shore also says the addition of a broad category for all vintage signs in Phoenix is important because their role in local heritage. He hopes the catchall category will start a trend of sign remodeling.
"Like the sign at My Florist -- people used that as a defining part of a community," he says. "And now it's endangered."
Shore says new plans released by Lawrence and Geyser
don't leave space for the beacon-like sign that once used for the now-closed My Florist Cafe.
In a press release, coalition board president Steve Procaccini writes that all Phoenicians "need to understand our heritage is still threatened by collapse, demolition, or destruction."
The list is meant to heighten awareness of what's going on and for people to start talking about these things, Shore says. See the complete list of structures (and now, vintage signs) on the coalition website
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.