West Second Street Historic District
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in July 2,
West Second Street Historic District is the oldest historic
district in Mesa and has the most diverse architectural styles that
any other district.
West Second Street Historic District is bounded generally by North
Robson Street on the west and North Center Street on the east and
extends along West Second Street and portions of North Macdonald
Street. This historic district is significant for its
architectural merits and its historic association with the evolution
of Mesa's most prominent early 1900s middle and upper-class
Contribution to Environmental Awareness
The West Second Street Historic District is more than just a
neighborhood of 50 historic properties. It is a community
representing the best of concerned and active Mesa residents.
They have challenged themselves not only with renovating beautiful
homes which have been in existence since the beginning of Mesa
history, but have tasked themselves with fostering neighborhood
spirit, community pride and integrating the past with the present.
Beyond individual achievements in restoration/renovation, the West
Second Street Historic District is involved with historic
preservation throughout the City.
Many of its residents volunteer their time and talents to educate
other members of the community about historic preservation issues
and donate their talents to City staff and serve on the citizen
boards of the City Council. In addition, on their own and with funds
they generated, they developed the West Second Street Historic
District Walking Tour Guide and made it available to the Arizona
Museum of Natural History and the Mesa Public Library so visitors
and residents alike can take a self-guided tour of this beautiful
In 1998, the West Second Street Historic District held its
first-ever Home Tour, where, for a small admission price, the public
was invited to visit the interiors of these beautiful homes.
Discounts were offered to those who brought canned goods, which were
donated to Queen of Peace Church. The funds raised were used to help
defray the costs associated with the National Register nominations
with the City contributing the remainder.
Preservation and Enhancement of Environmental Quality
1984, the City of Mesa has commissioned several historic
preservation surveys. Among the potential historic districts
discovered through field review, research and analysis, clearly the
West Second Street Historic district stood out on its own merits.
Similarly, the individual efforts of several of the district's
residents--be it their own restoration campaigns, or community
activism--made it clear from the very beginning that they were
committed to seeing their neighborhood come together whether or not
formal historic status was ever granted.
In 1994 the City of Mesa placed an Historic Preservation Overlay
District on the West Second Street area outlined above, largely
because of the efforts of the neighborhood. Members of the community
volunteered their time and efforts to ensure that all factual data
to support the rezoning was available to City staff and the City
Council. In addition, the City, recognizing this commitment,
purchased and installed historic lighting throughout the district
and is in the process of incorporating historic street signs.
Over the past four years, the district has formed a non-profit
corporation, and combined its efforts once again to work with the
City to get the district nominated to the National Register of
Conservation of Natural Resources
In this context, the residents of the West Second Street Historic
District together with the City of Mesa have made it a priority to
conserve the neighborhood landscaping which has been in their
community for more than 100 years. The district contains several of
the last remaining citrus-lined medians in existence in Mesa and
some of the few remaining carob and china berry trees. The district,
on several occasions, has been able to use its influence to control
the destruction of trees that reach heights of 100 feet or more.
The conservation of building materials in this district is
enormous. Where other areas of the State have seen unparalleled
growth and ultimately the destruction of older dwellings, the West
Second Street Historic District remains a relatively safe enclave of
original town-site dwellings. This has resulted in quite literally a
jewel in the downtown area. Individual investments in renovating
these properties average about $200,000 of private investment per
home. This is enormous commitment to conservation.
It is our belief that, together with individual achievements in
renovation which are evident to the eye, the collective efforts and
exhaustive energies of the residents of the West Second Street
Historic District, and the City of Mesa, are evident to the heart.
They symbolize the best of what it means to "place the good of the
many" before "the good of the one," which is really what
preservation of our environment is really all about.
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., M - TH
Closed Fridays & Holidays
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211