Large blue bins are making their way to and from the Mahoney Building at 2500 E. Van Buren St. in Downtown Phoenix.
They're a sign of change, and a much-needed face-lift funded in part by a recent $5,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The 100-year-old building's located at the Arizona State Hospital, originally known as the Insane Asylum of Arizona, and is the last of the Hospital's structures that predates statehood.
Spearheading the preservation and renovation efforts is Susan Gerard, a former Arizona Department of Health Services Directer and legislature, who says the goal is "to create a living museum to tell the stories about the progression of mental heath care in Arizona" in a release sent by the Mahoney Building Committee in March.
Gerard spoke with New Times' writer and Surreal Estate columnist Robrt Pela in November 2010, when the building's future was still uncertain. Then, she had hopes of a multipurpose Mahoney Building, with a mental health museum showcasing the old (and rudimentary) medical equipment, and a gallery where mentally ill people could exhibit the work they create in art therapy programs.
While the specifics of the renovation are yet to be released, the building has been designated as an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, check out the Save the Mahoney Building page and read more about the Mahoney Building's history in Surreal Estate.
Note: This post has been edited for accuracy.
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