State Parks purchases Camp Verde’s Rockin’ River Ranch

[Source: CVBugle.com, Steve Ayers] — Chalk up another crown jewel for the ever-expanding Verde River Greenway. This week, Arizona State Parks and The Nature Conservancy have announced the purchase of the historic Rockin’ River Ranch, located on the Verde River at the southern edge of the Town of Camp Verde. The $7 million purchase was made with money designated for the specific purpose of acquiring land for State Parks. Funding for acquisition comes from the state’s Heritage Fund, which comes from the state lottery.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Tucson’s second-oldest building undergoes repairs, improvements: La Casa Cordova will reopen to public about December

[Source: Tucson Citizen, Teya Vitu} – – The wood viga and saguaro lath ceilings at the historic La Casa Cordova, 173 N. Meyer Ave., will be visible for the first time in more than 30 years when the second-oldest known building in Tucson reopens to the public, likely in December. La Casa Cordova, built some time before the first Tucson map was drawn in 1862, was closed in June to replace electrical systems, upgrade drainage and make the adobe structure more accessible to the disabled, said Meredith Hayes, spokeswoman for the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, which manages the house.

Since Labor Day, a 10- to 14-foot-wide brick walkway has been installed in the courtyard so those in wheelchairs will no longer have to roll through dirt to get to the seven rooms in the L-shaped structure. The bricks cover about one-fourth of the dirt courtyard, and a new rock water catch basin fills one corner in the courtyard. Inside, a false ceiling has been removed to reveal the original viga-and-lath ceiling from which track lighting will be suspended as a new electrical and lighting system is installed, said Bob Vint, a downtown architect who specializes in historic preservation. “It was really inadequate,” Vint said. “They did it on a shoestring in the 1970s. They had stuff like extension cords plugged into extension cords.” [Note: to read the full article click here.]

Silver King Hotel in Florence begins rehab

[Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] – – Town officials, historic preservation advocates and officials of W.E. O’Neil Construction Company gathered Monday morning to celebrate the beginning of the second phase rehabilitation of the Silver King Hotel at Main and Ruggles streets in Florence. Mayor Vicki Kilvinger and other speakers expressed appreciation for the FPF and IDA for their work over the years to save historic buildings. “Thanks to the IDA, who first made this a historic town, and one of the premier historic towns in the state,” Kilvinger said. As for the Silver King, “We will work as hard as we can to make this a success,” she added.

Historian, John A. Swearengin, recalled what a welcome sight the Silver King was to his sunburned family when they arrived here in July of 1936. He became a regular visitor to the hotel; the family that ran it included two young ladies with whom he went to high school. Swearengin also recalled attending a birthday party “in this room in 1938.” He further expressed thanks to the town of Florence for buying the building last year from the FPF and taking an active role in its future. “I’m delighted and pleased to see the town join with us to make the completion of this job possible.” [Note: to read the full article click here.]

Santa Cruz County gets $85,503 for Rio Rico soccer complex

[Source: Nogales International, Kathleen Vandervoet] – – Santa Cruz County was recently awarded $85,503 for the Robert Damon Recreational Complex Soccer Field. The Arizona State Parks Board on Sept. 19 announced awards of more than $41 million in grants from the Arizona Heritage Fund, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Recreational Trails Grant Fund Program, and the Land Conservation Fund.

The Heritage Fund, created in November 1990, provides up to $10 million annually from Arizona Lottery proceeds. A press release said there are three competitive grant programs offered annually from the Heritage Fund to provide opportunities for the public to enjoy parks and outdoor recreation, and to help preserve natural and cultural resources: Local, Regional and State Parks (LRSP), Historic Preservation, and Trails. The State Parks Board approved a total of $542,293 to six Historic Preservation Heritage Fund grant applicants. [Note: to read the full article click here.]