Mesa Historic Properties

 

Alhambra Hotel, aka Pioneer Hotel - 43 S. Macdonald Street

Alhambra Hotel

Mesa Historic Property Register - 1991

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1991

The current Alhambra Hotel is a 1922 commercial building designed in the Spanish Mission Revival Style, located in the original downtown area of Mesa.  The building exhibits three important stages in its existence; the remnants of the original 1893 Alhambra that burned down in 1921, the reconstructed Alhambra of 1922, and a large addition of rooms on the rest of the property which were constructed in 1951.  The Alhambra Hotel was listed on the National Register on July 31, 1991.

 

Alma Ward Meeting House, aka Landmark Restaurant - 809 W. Main Street

Landmark Restaurant 1911

Mesa Historic Property Register - 2004

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2006

This building was first constructed by the Mormon Church in approximately 1910 and was first used as the Alma Ward Meeting House.  In later years an extension of Phoenix College (now known as Mesa Community College) chose to locate at this site until they later built their current facility which is located on Southern Avenue and Dobson Road.  In the 1960s there were several different occupants of the building until it was purchased by the Landmark Restaurant in 1981.

A portion of the original building, shown in the upper left photo dated 1911, is located within what is currentlyLandmark Restaurant 2004 the main dining room.  The thirteen-foot ceilings still have the original tiles and crown molding and many of the original doorways still exist in various parts of the building.

This site consists of three buildings which contributed to Mesa's cultural history which is derived from the role that buildings have played in the formation of religious and educational development in Mesa.



Alston House - 453 N. Pima Street

  Alston House
(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2012

Dr. Lucius Charles Alston was the first African American doctor in Mesa and was an influential member of Mesa’s black community. Dr. Alston and his family moved to Mesa in 1929. For many years he ran his clinic out of this house on N. Pima. The Alston House is an 890 square foot 1920s Late Craftsman Style Bungalow with a latter second-story addition. The house is on a restored concrete foundation with exterior stucco walls that match the original color. The casement windows match the original windows used in the house.

Angulo-Hostetter House - 150 N. Wilbur Street

Angulo-Hostetter House(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2000

The Angulo-Hostetter house is a one-story structure with an attic.  It is a wood frame building finished off with a sheathing of painted stucco.  This Colonial Revival was constructed in 1902 with an addition that was constructed in 1938.  The home displays a high degree of architectural integrity.  The home exhibits many Victorian features.  In 1995 it was relocated to its current location on Wilbur Street to avoid demolition. 

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 James A. Macdonald House, aka Antique Wedding House - 307 E. First Street

James A Macdonald House

Mesa Historic Property Register - 1998

The James A. Macdonald  house was built between 1916 and 1918 and is an excellent example of a bungalow/vernacular house.  James A. Macdonald, an early Mesa Pioneer, was born in 1870 and came to Arizona in 1881.  He was a former police officer, farmer, and builder and helped in the construction of the Arizona LDS Temple. The house was purchased by Diane Hughes in 1996 and she completely renovated the house over a two-year period.  Until recently, it was the Antique Wedding House.  Because of the renovation and adaptive reuse, Ms. Hughes received the 1998 Mesa Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Adaptive Reuse.

Buckhorn Baths Motel and Mineral Wells - 5900 E. Main Street

Buckhorn Baths(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2005

The Buckhorn Baths Motel is a complex consisting of fourteen buildings including a bathhouse, a main office building, and individual room units.  It is located seven miles east of downtown Mesa at the northwest corner of Main St. and Recker Road in an area that was outside of the City of Mesa at the time it was developed.  The property is distinguished from most highway-side motels by the mineral bath created when drilling in the 1930's tapped a natural source of hot, mineral water.  In addition to the standard motel features of its time, such as individual room units and a separate office building, the property includes a large bathhouse that served as the centerpiece feature making it a spa.  Typical of the motels of its time, the property was designed in period revival style, in this case Pueblo Revival, evocative of a broader theme of Southwestern culture.


Fitch Farm House - 945 N. Center Street

 Fitch Farm House
Mesa Historic Property Register - 2010

Tudor Revival Style

The Fitch Farm House was built in 1933-34 by Mr. Larkin Fitch.  The former Fitch Farm included over 400 acres along North Center Street.  The former farm has been replaced over the years with residential, commercial and industrial developments, including Fitch Park.  Larkin Fitch was born in Huntsville, Arkansas in 1902 and earned a BS in Agriculture from the University of Arizona in 1925.  He married Mildred Dobson, daughter of John Dobson.  Larkin Fitch played a prominent role in the farming industry in Mesa.  The Fitch Farm House is an excellent example of a Tudor Revival style house which is preserved to its original character.

 

Irving School - 155 N. Center Street

Irving School

 Mesa Historic Property Register - 2000

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2000

The Irving School in Mesa was constructed in 1936 by the trustees of Maricopa County School District No. 4.  the property was purchased by the City of Mesa from the school district in 1975.  In 1976 the building was converted into a performing arts center under the direction of local architect Charles Hickman.

The Irving School is significantly associated with several important historical trends in Arizona.  First and foremost, it is a significant representation of the maturation of educational institutions in Mesa.  Secondly, it is an excellent example of the architectural expertise of the Lescher and Mahoney firm, considered as the preeminent architects of school buildings in Arizona.  Finally, the Irving School is a representative example of the significant impact Federal public works programs had on local communities in Arizona.

The Irving School is a rare surviving example of Federal Modern style architecture applied to an elementary school.  To our knowledge, it may be the only elementary school in Arizona which is designed in the characteristic styles associated with the economic recovery programs of the New Deal as well as with currently popular residential architecture.  The masterful combination of its two high styles, one institutional and the other residential, makes Irving School a summary of the popular architecture of the late 1930s in Mesa.

The Irving School is a good example of this progressive theory of environmental and psychological effects on education.  Its elongated, one-story plan bridges the evolution of school building design from the cube-like, three-story school buildings of the 1910s to the multiple detached one-story buildings and open campus plans of the late 1940s and 1950s.

 

Lehi School - 2345 N. Horne Street

Old Lehi School

Mesa Historic Property Register - 2001

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2001

Originally built in 1913, the building was expanded in 1939 with Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds.  It is a mixture of Neoclassical and Mission Revival styles of architecture.  Located in the rural environment of the Lehi Area on a five-acre parcel given to the community in 1978 by settler Henry C. Rogers, the site retains much of its integrity of setting, despite encroaching development.  The Lehi School was a center of education for many years and symbolized the town's independence.  The Lehi area, on the northern fringe of Mesa, was originally established as a separate settlement and predates the Mesa original town site that was settled in 1878.

 

Mesa Grande Archaeological Site - West 10th Street and North Date Street

Mesa Grande Archaeological Site

Mesa Historic Property Register - 1978

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1978

Partially excavated Hohokam site including a large mound which covers an extensive compound. 

Listed on the National Register on November 21, 1978.

 

Mesa Journal-Tribune FHA Demonstration House,  aka Charles A. Mitten House - 238 W. Second Street

Mitten House

Mesa Historic Property Register - 2003

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 2003

Minimal Tradition

This house (moved to 238 West 2nd Street in 2002 to save it from demolition) was the first FHA financed home constructed in Mesa.  Built as the residence for Charles Mitten, publisher of the Mesa Journal Tribune, the house was built with funds from the FHA program and the Mesa Journal Tribune as a demonstration to help encourage construction of residential buildings in Mesa.  The Mitten House was listed on the National Register on December 29, 1988 but was removed because of the move.  It has been re-nominated based upon its significance and its association with the Robson Historic District (its new home).

 

Mesa Women's Club - 200 N. Macdonald Street

Women's Club of Mesa

 Mesa Historic Property Register - 1991

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1991

Spanish Eclectic 1931

The Mesa Women's Club is significant for the role it played in the social history of Mesa and its continued use as the Women's Club of Mesa.  The clubhouse was a center for social and civic activity for many women whose influence was felt throughout the community.  An excellent example of the Spanish Eclectic style.  This building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 1991.

 

Mount Calvary Baptist Church - 1720 E. Broadway Avenue

Mount Calvary Baptist Church

 Mesa Historic Property Register - 2002

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church was designated a Local Historic Landmark on August 29, 2002 for its 92 year association with the community.

African Americans began to appear in Mesa shortly after the turn of the 20th Century.  The first family was the McPhersons in 1905.  Around 1910, others included Dr. James Livingston, Cora Kemp (who was a registered nurse), and a veterinarian.  Other families arriving before 1920 included the Kemps, Moores, Halls, Mckelvys, and the Fergusons.  Settling primarily in the Washington Park neighborhood, their group was small in number and their sphere of influence at the time, even smaller.  A common and binding part of their community was the spiritual leadership, which at first came in the form of missionaries.  The first meeting place was under a tree in the front yard of Clara McPherson-Lewis.  In 1918, the Reverend J.B. Bell organized the mission as a church and the Reverend James Robison became the first pastor.  A crude rectangular wooden structure was built on East Broadway (4ths Street at that time) for worship services.  In 1940 the church moved to 430 N. Lewis, where it remains today.

Despite the fact that the church, which began as an outdoor meeting under a tree, moved several times until it arrived at 430 N. Lewis Street, its importance is nonetheless significant because of its association with the African American community over a span of 92 years.  This very important fellowship and requisite feelings of belonging transcend physical space.  Even though the church building itself has been in existence for 62 years, the impact of the parish on the community has existed for much longer.

African American westerners pursued centuries-old twin desires for opportunity and freedom.  In their pursuit of economic opportunity, these workers became a crucial element in the dramatic rise of the national standard of living of African Americans. In their pursuit of racial justice, they helped launch a much larger expansion of rights for all Westerners, and all Americans, by contributing to the coming of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  Their foundation for this pursuit has historically been associated with the spiritual life of African Americans.  the role that churches like Mount Calvary Baptist Church played in major parts of American history cannot be overstated.  Mt. Cavalry provided a solid foundation for the members of the Washington Park community to network, worship, and find inner strength.

The leader of Mt. Calvary, Rev. Robison, had a son and a daughter who both completed high school in Mesa.  His daughter, Mcfraddie Martin, completed her undergraduate work at Arizona State University and received a Master's degree from USC.  Rev. Robison's son also graduated from USC and became a dentist.  The Freeman's, James and Jewel and daughter Etta (still a parishioner) arrived with twelve other families in 1924 in a covered wagon that traveled from Texas.  Mr. Freeman purchased a bus with his own money and picked up the children in Higley and Chandler to go to school in Washington Park during segregation.

Angie McPherson Booker, another parishioner, is one of the oldest living early residents of Mesa, at 98 years.  Angie arrived in Mesa with her family in 1910 and has lived next door to the church since 1912.  Angie's father was a veteran of the Spanish American war and a retiree of the United States 10th Calvary, where he was a Buffalo Soldier.

Veora Johnson, also a Mt. Calvary parishioner, was the first black principal in the Mesa School District, chosen in 1945 to head the Booker T. Washington School.  Later, she was named Mesa's "Citizen of the Year" in 1974, and Veora E. Johnson Elementary School was named for her.

African American's have long contributed to the richness of the history of the American West.  From Buffalo Soldiers to local farmers and businessmen, their greatest commonality was often their spiritual connection to each other.  Mt. Calvary Baptist Church illustrates such importance.  Therefore, Criterion 3(e) is satisfied, based upon the cultural aspects of African Americans arriving in the Southwest, and further, how spiritual institutions such as Mt. Calvary Baptist Church played an important role in the community.

 

Park of the Canals, aka Hohokam-Mormon Irrigation Canal

Park of the Canals

Mesa Historic Property Register - 1975

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1978

Along Horne Road north from Utah Ditch, south of the Mesa Consolidated Canal.  The site contains remains of two canals originally excavated by the Hohokam and later re-dug by pioneer Mormons.  Several unexcavated Hohokam mounds like within the site.  Listed on the National Register on May 30, 1975

 

Post Office, aka Federal Building - 26 N. Macdonald Street

Federal Building

Mesa Historic Property Register - 2004

The Federal Building was built in 1937 by the Federal Government Department of Treasury to become Mesa's first 1st-class post office and one of the finest buildings in the City at its completion.  The significance of the building was substantiated by the arrival of the Postmaster General, James A. Farley, who attended the dedication of the building as the guest of honor at a banquet at the Mezona Hall.   Local postal officials, Democratic leaders, and other community leaders from all parts of Arizona also attended the function.  James A. Farley was a nationally prominent man, who not only served as a United States Postmaster General, but also was chairman of the Democratic National Committee and managed President Franklin D. Roosevelt's two campaigns for office.

The building was expanded in 1960 to include a two-story extension and loading dock.  In spite of this large expansion, it became necessary to move the post office in June 1970 to its current location at 135 N. Center Street.

 

Ramon Mendoza House - 126 N. Pomeroy

Ramon Mendoza House

Mesa Historic Property Register - 2001

Ramon Mendoza was the first Hispanic Chief of Police in Mesa.  He was born in Mesa on April 15, 1914, the son of pioneer settler Ramon S. Mendoza (for which the Mendoza school is named) and graduated from Mesa High School in 1932.  In a time when segregation was still practiced in the City, Mendoza became a police officer in 1942 and a coach for the City's Parks and Recreation Department.  Mendoza was appointed Police Chief in 1969 and served in this capacity until his retirement in 1978.  Mendoza purchased the property at 126 N. Pomeroy in 1946 and lived there until his death in 1999.

 

Sirrine House, aka Joel E. Sirrine House - 160 N. Center Street

Joel E Sirrine House

 Mesa Historic Property Register - 1995

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1995

Queen Anne Cottage 1896

Built in the spring of 1896 as the residence of Joel E. Sirrine and his wife, Caroline Hanna Simkins Sirrine. They occupied the house until about 1905.  During that time Sirrine worked as an engineer for the Mesa Cooperative Milling Company which was owned by George W. and William L. Sirrine.  Joel E. Sirrine came to Mesa in 1878 as a boy.  His father, George W. Sirrine, was head of one of the "four founding families of Mesa."  The best local example of a Vernacular type house built in the Queen Anne Cottage Style.  Exemplary of the 19th Century residential development of the Mesa Townsite.  The Sirrine house was purchased and renovated by the City of Mesa and is part of the Arizona Museum of Natural History.  This house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 11, 1995.

 

Spangler/Wilbur House - 128 N. Macdonald Street

Mesa Historic Property Register - 1991

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1993

Colonial Revival - 1915

Before construction of his house, John G. Spangler, cashier for the Mesa City Bank, lived at 134 North Macdonald Street from 1905 to 1915.  The Spangler family lived in the house until 1930 when it was purchased by Mesa sheep grower George H. Wilbur.  The Wilburs occupied the house through the 1940s.  An excellent local example of a Colonial Revival Style house designed with Italianate Style influences.  This building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 1, 1993.

 

Straugh-Fuller House - 148 N. Macdonald Street

Fuller Strauch House

Mesa Historic Property Register - 1991

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1991

Mission Revival 1906

Built in 1906 for Paul E. Fuller, an engineer who was employed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the construction of the Roosevelt Dam.  Fuller later worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an irrigation engineer.  The house was sold in 1918.  George W. Silverthorn, a Mesa attorney, purchased the house in 1925.  From 1931 until 1936 the house was owned and occupied by Henry L. Wood.  In 1936 the house was purchased by Donald W. Strauch, a Mesa printer.  The Strauch family owned the house until 1992 when it was purchased by Mark and Candace Reeb.  This house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 31, 1991.

 

Ammo Bunkers (S-1007 & S-1008) - Williams Air Force Base (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport)

Ammo Bunkers 1007 and 1008

 (N) National Register of Historic Places - 1995

These ammo bunkers were building in 1942 by Del E. Webb Construction Company.  Located about one have mile south of the original base plan, south of the family housing area, each bunker is a one-story structure.  The structures are roughly elliptical in shape, measuring 150' x 80' and have an arched shaped roof and walls made of reinforced concrete and covered with dirt.  The two bunkers are approximately 500 feet apart.

The ammo bunkers are significant as a good illustration of a typical utilitarian military support structure constructed at military bases in the United States during World War II.  The ammo bunkers are representative of the historic contexts "Williams Field Training Programs and Wartime Operations, 1942 to 1947" and "Williams Field Base Plan and Architectural Theme, 1941-1944."  They convey the physical characteristics of the property type, particularly for its specialized function.  The overall design, use of materials and method of construction, clearly convey military origins.

Flagpole - Williams Air Force Base (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport)

Flagpole

 (N) National Register of Historic Places - 1995

Built in December 1941, the Base Flagpole is significant as an object for its important symbolic and traditional associations with the origins and history of Williams Air Force Base and for its location at the focal point of the major axis of the base plan.  It is representative of the historic contexts "Williams Field Base Facilities Development, 1941-1944" and "Williams Field Base Plan and Architecture Theme, 1941- 1944."

Erected by Del E. Webb Construction Company, the flagpole was part of the first phase of development at Williams Field which took place between June 1941 and February 1942.  This initial development included the construction of 146 buildings and structures, runway construction and flood control, and drilling a water well and a storage and supply system.  The flagpole construction was based on the Standard Flagpole design prepared in 1939 by the Office of the Quartermaster General.

Housing Storage Supply Warehouse - Williams Air Force Base (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport)

Housing Storage Supply Warehouse

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1995

The housing supply warehouse was constructed in December 1941 by Del E. Webb Construction Company.  The building was constructed using a standard utilitarian design with Minimal Traditional architectural style influences and as such is a good representation of the Military Facility property type.  The supply warehouse is located on "A" Street along the south fringe of the original base plan, were most warehouses were originally located.  The warehouse is a rectangular, one-story building of wood frame construction and measures 150' X 60'.

The housing supply warehouse is significant for its association with the initial development and construction at Williams Air Force Base.  It represents the best illustration of a typical military support building once common at the field.  It is also a good illustration if its type, period, and method of construction.  The warehouse is representative of the historic contexts "Williams Field Base Facilities Development, 1941-1944" and "Williams Field Base Plan and Architecture Theme, 1941- 1944." 

 

Water Pump Station & Water Tower - Williams Air Force Base (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport)

 Water Pump Station
(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1995

The water pump station and water tower were constructed in the winter of 1941-1942 by the Del E. Webb Construction Company.  The location and drilling of a water well was one of the first construction projects undertaken at Williams Field.  Drilling began in early July 1941.  By November 1941 the 250,000 gallon water tank and the 127 foot tall water tower were completed and construction on the cast-in-place concrete water pump station was underway.  The building was completed in early

water tower

January 1942.  Stylistically sympathetic additions, also built of cast-in-place concrete were constructed to the south and west of the water pump station in 1951.

The water pump station and water tower are good illustrations of the military facility property type and retain integrity of design, materials, workmanship, and location.  They convey the physical characteristics of the property type, including overall design, use of materials and method of construction, which help to demonstrate the property's specialized function.  The structures visually provide an association with the initial development of the base and its significant role during World War II.  The water pump station and water tower possess the associative quality that connects them to the history of Williams Air Force Base.  The property clearly conveys its function as a water supply facility and therefore as an integral component of the base's original World War II-era infrastructure.

5 Archeological Sites at Williams Air Force Base - Restricted

(N) National Register of Historic Places - 1995

Information on these sites is restricted.


Sources:

Excerpt from Our Town, 1991. Mesa Public Schools

City Wide - Reconnaissance Survey - Ryden Architects, 1999

Evergreen Historic District National Register Nomination - Ryden Architects

West 2nd Street Historic District National Register Nomination - Ryden Architects

Wilbur Historic District National Register Nomination - Ryden Architects

Temple Historic District National Register Nomination - Ryden Architects

Robson Historic District National Register Nomination - Ryden Architects

"In Search of African American History in the Southwest," Taylor, Quintard, Smithsonian Museum of National History, Behring Online Center

The First 100 Years: The History of Arizona Blacks, Harris, Richard. 1983

Minorities in Phoenix, Luckingham, Brandford. 1994.

 
Historic Preservation home

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Phone:
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Location:
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211