Tag Archives: historic buildings

Truckin’ through Tempe

I found myself “truckin’ through Tempe” today while searching for a new installation of public art along Mill Avenue. Six utility boxes between Rio Salado Parkway and 7th Street have been painted by artists whose designs also grace new library cards for Tempe Public Library patrons.

I spied the “Sonoran Afternoon” utility box painted by Bud Heiss on Feb. 4 first, because it’s on the same corner as the Shoe Mill — my favorite haunt when new shoes beckon, and a splendid place to fondle handbags I can scarcely afford.

While making my way up Mill Avenue to check out other utility boxes, I stopped to chat with a woman named Susan who was playing her violin along the street — but was soon distracted by a painted truck whizzing past so quickly I couldn’t catch a photo.

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I turned my attention to exploring other shops in the area — including a charming hole-in-the-wall bookstore called Old Town Books that reminded me of taking my babies to Changing Hands Bookstore back when it occupied a similar space along that very strip.

While there, I spied a book about Helen Keller — reminding me that “The Miracle Worker” opens later this month at Scottsdale Community College. I’ve no young children to buy such books for anymore, but snapped a picture that’ll help me rekindle memories of reading to my children when they were small.

I also lingered over artwork and furnishings with a vintage/retro vibe at Loft a Go Go, a shop I’ve been eager to explore since spotting it one evening on a hurried walk from parking structure to Stray Cat Theatre. Its diverse offerings include all sorts of goodies plastered with the likenesses of Elvis, Audrey and Marilyn.

I spotted a few more painted utility boxes in my travels, and one of the unpainted variety that made me appreciate the others even more. Colton Brock’s “Mill District” work is located near the light rail stop most convenient for folks eager to explore the Mill Avenue District.

Dawn DeVries Good’s “Be the Good,” painted on Feb. 6, sits at the corner of 6th Street and Mill Avenue. I’m saving others for another trip once my bum knee is on the mend. They include Lucretia Torva’s “Tempe Shine,” Oliverio Balcells’ “Tempe Roots” and Linda Parker’s “Day Dreaming at Tempe Town Lake.”

I was about to head home when I spotted the painted truck again — parked and perfectly primed for an impromptu photo session. As I suspected, it was covered with assorted paintings, each bearing the name and city/state of its creator. There was just a single catch — it was a beer truck. While I snapped photos, a driver for Crescent Crown Distributing did his delivery thing. To the restaurants, not the nearby dorms.

Then, after a successful dig for more parking meter change, I made one final stop — to a brick building called Hackett House that was once Tempe Bakery. Hackett House is home to the Tempe Sister Cities program, so folks who hit their gift shop or cooking classes can help a worthy cultural cause in the process.

I spotted all sorts of rabbits, chicks and other fare with a whimsical Easter vibe. Even a trio of ceramic “see, hear and speak no evil” bunnies. Also Raggedy Ann dolls, tiny tea sets in charming picnic baskets, richly textured scarves, accessories for wine lovers and glass flowers to hold birthday candles. Even plenty of bobbles and bling for those thinking ahead to Mother’s Day.

I’ve been truckin’ through Tempe for a good twenty years now. First pushing a stroller. Now strolling with camera in hand. It never gets old — thanks to book stores, beer trucks, bunnies and beyond.

— Lynn

Coming up: Sunday at Seton, Conversations with local artists, Poetry meets drumroll, A prophet tale


The Little Red Schoolhouse

Scottsdale Grammar School, built in 1909, was dedicated the following year on the birthday of town founder Winfield Scott — and still stands on its original site located in the area now called Old Town Scottsdale.

The Scottsdale Historical Museum housed in the schoolhouse notes that “the $5,000 building was constructed of sand and gravel from the bed of the Salt River and bricks brought by horse-drawn wagon from Phoenix.”

It became Coronado School in 1928, serving Spanish-speaking students in first through third grade, but was closed and sold to a local businessman after courts declared school segregation illegal in 1954.

Through the years it’s housed everything from a courthouse to a library. The Scottsdale Historical Society, which has used the building since 1991, operates the Scottsdale Historical Museum.

I recently toured the museum with my son Christopher, where we got a glimpse of life in Scottsdale during earlier times. Folks who visit the Scottsdale Historical Museum will find re-creations of a classroom, Victorian parlor and tent-house kitchen.

Also maps and photos of early Scottsdale, school memorabelia, and artifacts from the early Scottsdale home of Winfield and Helen Scott — plus changing displays of special collections.

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The Little Red Schoolhouse is open September through June — Wed. to Sat. from 10am to 5pm and Sun. noon to 4pm. It’s located on the Scottsdale Mall near Main and Brown within walking distance of plenty of other interesting places.

When you go, leave extra time to explore the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (including the young@art gallery inside the adjacent Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts) and the Scottsdale Civic Center Library (which is nearing completion of some pretty nifty renovations).

Admission to the Scottsdale Historical Museum is free but the Scottsdale Historical Society will happily accept donations from those eager to support projects like recording oral histories, gathering information about early Scottsdale and acquring artifacts from Scottsdale’s pre-incorporation days.

A special event benefiting the Scottsdale Historical Museum takes place Fri., March 23 at the Chaparral Suites in Scottsdale. It’s the 19th annual Scottsdale’s History Hall of Fame Dinner, which will honor five 2012 inductees.

This year’s inductees — selected by the Past Presidents’ Council of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce — are Mary King, Mary Manross, Gary Shapiro, Joe Wong and Scottsdale Healthcare Auxiliary.

I leave the lovely dinners to those of you who can still win the war with your panty hose. You’ll find me kicking around Old Town in my tennis shoes and shorts — a far cry from the duds women wore when Army Chaplain Winfield Scott founded the town in 1888.

— Lynn

Note: Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane presents his annual “State of the City Address” Thurs, Feb. 23 at 5:30pm at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Coming up: Art meets journalism

A little slice of crafting

Family enjoying craft time at a previous craft rave

Mention the word “pie” and I’m there in a heartbeat. So news of this Saturday’s 10-hour “craft rave” at Bragg’s Pie Factory in Phoenix had my fork fingers poised for action — until I remembered that their pies are a thing of the past.

Though the factory, built in 1947, served as a bakery for two decades — it’s since been renovated and added to a national historic register. Nowadays the downtown Phoenix venue houses “art studios, small businesses & special events.” Guess my fork will have to find its way back into the drawer.

Proof that dads can be crafty too

Here’s the scoop on this Saturday’s event — It takes place from 2pm until midnight, and it’s hosted by a couple of crafters named Kathy Cano-Murillo (also known as “The Crafty Chica“) and Cyndi Coon of Laboratory 5. You’ve seen Coon’s art if you’ve been to the “Artists and their Children” exhibit at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art young@art gallery.

The idea, I’m told, is for folks to make homemade gifts at the craft rave rather than shopping their fool heads off. My wording, not theirs. I’m sure the crafty folks are far less tacky when not armed with glue guns. You can get into this shindig for just $5, then choose from all sorts of crafting options. Some are free, and others cost $5, $1o or $15.

Ashley looks like a careful crafter

The first 1oo people in the door get “goodie bags” provided by event sponsors Michaels, Provo Craft and iLoveToCreate — and there are lots of raffle prizes too. Think I can finagle a special prize for making the most crafts shaped like a slice of pie? I find pecan, strawberry and peach pie ever so inspiring. Even if Bragg’s has become a BYOP joint.

Looks like more than a dozen artists will be teaching crafts at the event. There’s Sarah Spencer on button bracelets, Stacy Rebecca on finger puppets, Cyndi Coon on jewelry and hairwear, Marrissa Vidrio on handmade journals and Meghan Olesen on felted soap. For the ornament inclined, Felicity Snyder will teach embroidery ornaments and Mia Murrilo will teach glitter ornaments and nails (that way your hands look lovely while you’re hanging those babies on the tree).

Coon notes that several of the projects are great for kids and teens, including microbead jewelry (taught by Mary Beth), painted bangle bracelets (taught by Kathy Cano-Murrilo) and custom lip balms (taught by Heather Ellis). Even duct tape projects by Joe Angel Rolis, which sound like they might fit both the “nice” and “naughty” people on your holiday list.

Molly and Ronan making t-shirt yarn jewelry

Lots of families and kids attended last year’s event, according to Coon, who offers this additional enticement to those of you still sitting on the fence about mall versus make-it-yourself gifts — Lots and lots of marshmallow PEEPS® will be in the house. Eat them. Craft with them. Fantasize about making pie with them. Take your picture with them. It’s your call. PEEPS has donated them for your enjoyment, because that’s just the way of the PEEPS. So much the better if you decide to enter their “Deck the PEEPS” contest.

Glitter, PEEPS and duct tape. Every Saturday should be so splendid.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to read about “Craftapalooza 2011” with Raising Arizona Kids calendar and directories editor Mala Blomquist, who somehow manages to bake and craft beyond even Martha’s wildest dreams amidst a myriad of RAK responsibilities and time devoted to hubby, daughters and pets galore.

Coming up: Homemade holiday gift ideas, Traveling the yellow brick road, Art meets MLK Day

Photos courtesy of Cyndi Coon