Longform

This Old $811,000 House

Page 5 of 5

But the cost was never considered in either of the grants. Price is not a factor in the rating system for Heritage Fund grants.

However, Jim Ronstadt, chairman of the Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Committee, which recommends grants to the State Parks Board for approval, said it ought to be considered in the future.

"... as a director of parks operations in the city, I would be hard-pressed to request $162,000 for an acre of any kind of park for the community," Ronstadt said, adding that, because cost is not a factor in the current rating system, "I don't think there's anything we can do about it."

This little corner of Glendale was, officially, priceless.

As the saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it."
The City of Glendale and the Glendale Historical Society are now the proud owners of a beautiful, 98-year-old home, with its surrounding park area, and no plan for what to do with it.

For a while, there was talk of using a bequest to the city to turn the park area into a tactile park for the visually impaired. That won't work because the grant was to preserve the palm trees and create a "serenity park."

Meanwhile, Glendale has made finishing the historic project at Sahuaro Ranch Park its priority. And there is no money to rehabilitate the Manistee Ranch house for use--a task with an estimated price tag of $300,000 to $500,000.

A cable-TV company has expressed interest in using the property for film projects, but there is no deal on the table yet.

"We're looking for that unusual situation where somebody could come in and live with it the way it is," says Scruggs. "I would like to see a foundation take this on."

And, of course, Glendale can apply again next year for grant money to continue the project.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lisa Davis