We may be a young city, but we have a rich history – and it’s our responsibility to preserve that history for future generations.
When I learned that the Arizona Exposition and Fair Board planned to tear down the historic 1938 WPA building, we took action. The City issued a stop work order to call off the wrecking crew, and joined Preserve Phoenix’s lawsuit to stop the demolition.
I asked the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission to convene a special meeting, and commissioners voted unanimously to designate the grounds historic. We all owe them a thanks for stepping up and doing the right thing.
State officials agreed and I’m grateful that they scrapped their plans to demolish the building.
When we took a step back, it was easy for everyone to see that the economic potential of this building is far greater than the three corndog stands that would have popped up in its place. And now, we have the opportunity to work together and shape plans that will give the historic structure new life.
Preserving the building and restoring it to its glory will take all of us. We’ve put together a coalition of city, state and historic preservation advocates to start work on plans that will benefit the fairgrounds and surrounding neighborhoods.
Over the last few years especially, we’ve seen the great things that can happen when we give old or historic buildings new life. Together, we can make the revitalization of the historic WPA building the next Phoenix success story.
Preserving our History by Mayor Greg Stanton