Demolition of WPA Civic Building at Arizona State Fairgrounds on Temporary Hold

civic-wpa-demo1.jpg
Katie Johnson
The Civic Building, which served as headquarters for the WPA in 1938, is not out of the woods yet.
Phoenix preservationists acted fast on Monday, July 14, when they noticed construction fencing pop up around the historic Civic Building on the Arizona State Fairgrounds at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road.

See also: Portland on the Park Condos Coming to Downtown Phoenix

adobe-concrete-wpa-building.jpg
Katie Johnson
The 1938 Civic Building is a rare construction of adobe with concrete casting.

The building, erected in 1938 as the headquarters of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the Great Depression era, is part of a demolition contract set to be executed within 30 days by the Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board.

Shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 15, the Maricopa County Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order on the Civic Building's demolition. This legal interjection is lead by Preserve Phoenix, a community-based organization that comprises historic heavy-hitters including members of other preservation groups including the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, Arizona Preservation Foundation, Modern Phoenix, and Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition.

Of course, the keyword here is temporary. On Wednesday, July 23, a hearing will be held to determine the best way to proceed with historic structure. Details about the meeting can be found online through the Maricopa County Superior court.

As it stands, the Arizona Exposition and State Fair board lacks the funding to maintain the dilapidated building. Unlike several other historic buildings on the Fairgrounds, including the 1919 Mining Mineral Exhibition Building, the 1937 Grandstand, the 1940 Cattle Barns, the 1940 Home Economics Building, the 1949 Arizona Plaza, the 1960 Commercial Exhibition Building, and the 1965 Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Civic Building has remained abandoned for over six years and fails to generate revenue for the fairgrounds.


Location Info

Map

Arizona State Fairgrounds

1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fair

1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General


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65 comments
Sunshine Fetrow Tippets
Sunshine Fetrow Tippets

Saaaaaave! Think restaurant, brewery...look up McMenamins in Oregon for great ideeeeas. Save.

Daniel Gross
Daniel Gross

Yes.... Phoenix has never been a preservationist town... until really recent. New is better has been the motto for 60+ years

Zach Widehat
Zach Widehat

Oh hahaha forgot roof top look like pringe roof lol

David Huber
David Huber

To destroy this historic WPA building would be a criminal violation of the public trust. It is remarkably solid despite years of neglect and can certainly be restored to productive use.

Art Carlton
Art Carlton

Yes!! This building represent so many historical parts of our history. In whole, this building shows new generations that when Americans are down and broke we still have strength to move forward.

Joseph William Betancourt
Joseph William Betancourt

Save it... it may be a shell, but one that local farmers could use as a market... ample parking and indoors.

Kary Ketcher-Fowler
Kary Ketcher-Fowler

yes, this is a nice building, but the pringle chip-roof top - be gone with that one!

Susan Lupo-Mueller
Susan Lupo-Mueller

Yes please stop knocking down all the history here in Phoenix. Sad

Dante Mancini
Dante Mancini

Here's where I'm conflicted. The space does not require density yet. So why tear it down? It's not particularly interesting visually or historically so why preserve it?

Everett Almond
Everett Almond

Make it into a museum ! -----Pictures tell a Lot about Arizona ! -------

Josh Benson
Josh Benson

Definitely... Phoenix hasn't always been stucco homes and shopping centers with the same exact stores over and over and over again.

Candace Porth
Candace Porth

Yes. Tearing history down seems to be the norm in Phoenix.

David Revay
David Revay

Get a corporation to sponsor it, and have them refurb it.

Lucia Perry
Lucia Perry

No! The reason we don't have a record of our history is because we 're ruled by developers and construction industry

Dave Thompson Drummer
Dave Thompson Drummer

Bravo! We have enough dollar stores, parking lots, Walmarts. Thank you very much...

Mark Foster
Mark Foster

With it's strong Frank Lloyd Wright design influences it would be best to slow down and investigate it's history because it might be a 'keeper'!

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Trash that shit and the entire "fair grounds". Nothing more than the asshole of grand ave.

Calvin Cassada
Calvin Cassada

SAVE-SAVE-SAVE Walking around a pin up fair doesn't compare to the ones that have history and old structures. I appreciate these old buildings as much as the fair. Rather it be blocked off and used for nothing than torn down. The monies will come eventually to restore this building. Phoenix is quick to destroy old structures. Gut it out and use it for poultry shows or something but LEAVE IT for a better day.

Dean McAdams
Dean McAdams

Save it. The building has great potential, and Phoenix needs more architectural diversity.

James Sutton
James Sutton

No it's old and has no reasonable history

Samantha Coombs
Samantha Coombs

Save the buildings. It's sad to see them torn down. They need to get better estimates.

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