Tag Archives: Restoration Projects Phoenix

Architects to Take Over Historic Phoenix Building

Sep 19, 2016

An international architecture firm has leased and will renovate a historic mid-century building in Phoenix.

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A rendering of the interior

Minneapolis-based Cuningham Group Architecture has leased the Farmers & Stockmens Bank Building at Washington and 50th streets near Papago Park.

The 6,000-square-foot building was built in 1951 by famed Los Angeles architect William Pereira.

He also designed the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, CBS Television City in Los Angeles, the Arizona State Prison in Florence and much of Los Angeles International Airport.

The Washington Street building has a historic designation from the city of Phoenix.

Cuningham Group currently has its Phoenix offices near First Avenue and McDowell Road north of downtown Phoenix.

The architecture firm plans on moving this fall.

“For a firm such as ours that deeply respects good design, it is an honor to make this landmark our home,” said Cuningham Group Principal Nabil Abou-Haidar. “There is a clean-lined simplicity to the building that remains attractive to this day. It is certainly an approach we bring forward in contemporary architecture for our clients, and in our other offices around the world.”

Cuningham’s Phoenix office has approximately 20 architects and designers.

The firm’s project portfolio includes work in South Korea, China as well as Disney’s California Adventure.

Cuningham Group is leasing the 1950s era bank building from owners Mike and Gary Smith. They own Phoenix-based Jokake Companies, which acquired the property and in partnership with the city of Phoenix in 2015.

They restored the building’s exterior.

“We are delighted we were able to save the historic property,” said Jill Clements, president of Jokake Real Estate Services. “There are not many historic buildings left in the Phoenix area. So when we were able to save this one, we were thrilled. The Smiths are happy to be working with such a prestigious architectural firm as Cuningham Group and look forward to their long-term tenancy at the property.”

Call Laura Boyajian for all of your Historic Phoenix Homes Buying and Selling needs.

The Historic Phoenix Indian School Is Being Restored in Central Phoenix

After three years of fundraising and community input, construction is scheduled to begin on the former Phoenix Indian School music building at Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix. The building, which has fallen into disuse, will become the site of a new Indian Center.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2016 AT 6 A.M.

historic phoenix,central,real estateThe improvements and future center are part of the Phoenix Indian School Legacy Project, a joint partnership between the City of Phoenix, which owns and operates both the former Indian School buildings and Steele Indian School Park; the Phoenix Indian Center, the first urban Indian Center in the nation, offering everything from work placement and development to addiction services; and Native American Connections, which serves more than 10,000 individuals and families annually, addressing issues of homelessness and housing along with behavioral health and outreach services. The city will provide funding for the project, while the nonprofits will operate the center and onsite events.

The center will be housed in the 6,000-square-foot music building, construPhoenixPhoenixcted in 1931 and first used as an elementary school. It was converted to the band-chorus room in 1964 and remained the music hall until the school’s closure more than 20 years ago.

Designed by Architectural Resource Team with input from tribal leaders and organizations during a series of community meetings, the architectural plans include creating a public gallery as well as a private board room and business center. The gallery will share the century-long history of the Phoenix Indian School with visitors alongside an open conference room for community events, and a commercial kitchen to prepare traditional indigenous foods. The center plans to frequently host health and nutrition courses as well.

“We are going to be able to bring the public back into the space, and educate and enlighten the community about the Native American boarding-school experience and how it impacted Phoenix, as well as the state of Arizona,” Diane Yazzie Devine, CEO of Native American Connections, said in a press release last week.

“We also recognized that for some people, coming back to the Indian boarding school could be a very emotional experience, so we have a reflection room at one end of the gallery,” Devine continued in a separate e-mail to New Times. “People can sit in that room and pay their respects to the memory of the students, or just sit and be quiet.”

The Phoenix Indian School originated in 1891, housing and educating thousands of students from more than 23 tribes across New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, California, and Arizona. The controversial institution initially forbade students from interacting with their culture through strictly enforced rules dictating everything from language to haircuts. Those rules were eventually relaxed, and the school closed in 1990.

The City of Phoenix acquired the campus and its surrounding acreage in 1996 after a land exchange with the federal government. The three remaining buildings — Memorial Hall, the Indian School, and the Indian School Band Building — were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Steele Indian School Park, where the buildings remain as an homage to the landmark location, opened that same year.

“Phoenix Indian School played an important role in the history of our city, our state and our nation, so we must do all we can to preserve that legacy,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in a press release sent out by Native American Connections last week. “Restoring the music building will ensure that the story of Phoenix Indian School and its students will continue to resonate with new generations while providing a valuable community asset at one of our busiest city parks.”

Renovations and new construction are expected to take eight to 10 months. The complex is slated to open next spring.