[Source: the Arizona Republic, Gary Nelson] – – After more than 20 years, Mesa finally has enough money to begin work on an architectural park at the Mesa Grande ruins. A $100,000 grant from the Arizona Historic Preservation Heritage Fund, coupled with a previous $150,000 from Indian gaming money, will allow the public to begin touring the ruins as early as next year. Tom Wilson, director of the city-owned Museum of Natural History, said last spring the first $150,000, courtesy of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was spent for site planning and digital mapping of the fragile west Mesa spot. [Note: to read the full article click here.]
[Source: CVBugle.com, Steve Ayers] – – Rangers call for volunteers – – When the military constructed Fort Verde, they built it with the belief that the fort would remain serviceable for 10 to 20 years … max. They had no idea that parts of it would still be standing 137 years later. Constructed for the most part of adobe, it is a testament to the love and care given over the years by local volunteers and Arizona State Parks employees that anything remains standing.
That love and care is once again being requested, as the staff of the park embarks on a major repair project, starting at the Surgeon’s Quarters on the north end and working their way south to the park’s administrative building. “We are putting out a want ad, if you will,” says Dennis Lockhart, assistant manger of Fort Verde State Historic Park. “Anyone who wants to come scrape paint, do wood work or plaster, or has skills in anything that might be of help, they are welcome to come over and be a volunteer.” [Note: to read the full article click here.]
[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.]
[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.]