Struggling to Save the Old in Phoenix, A That Values the New
PHOENIX — An excavator clawed away at a squat, battered building on the edge of downtown one morning, tearing the structure down in chunks that sounded like firecrackers as they crashed to the ground — heaps of discarded history in a city that prizes what is new.
From the other side of a chain-link fence, a cadre of preservationists watched with lament. The Madison Hotel — a boardinghouse for traders, travelers and tramps dating back to Arizona’s territorial days — was coming down unceremoniously to make way for a parking lot.
Its younger neighbor, the Hotel St. James, is to be next for the wrecking crew.
The hotels’ demolition permits were issued midsummer, though no one seemed to have heard about it until Michael Levine stumbled upon a lead-cleanup crew stepping out of the buildings sometime in August and thought to make a call to City Hall. Mr. Levine, 44, is an artist who has made it his business to buy and renovate some of the surviving buildings in Phoenix’s vanishing warehouse district, where, he said, “it’s been all about buying low, building cheap and selling out.”...
comments powered by Disqus
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Famed SC civil rights protesters have convictions erased
- A Fight About Taxing The Wealthy, A Century Before President Obama
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History
- Joan Peters’s legacy assessed by one of her fiercest critics, Norman Finkelstein
- West Point historian says if his cadets can understand the history of war, so can Congress
- Australian historian Alan Atkinson wins $100,000 literary prize
- From his perch in Saudi Arabia, Princeton’s Mark Cohen says Jews and Muslims should remember they used to get along