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The owner of these 100-year-old Phoenix buildings wants to demolish them

The Milum Textile Services complex, a pair of buildings with a white brick facade and a teal-striped metal sign near Seventh Avenue and Van Buren Street in Phoenix, have been standing for 100 years — but their future is in doubt.

Owner Craig Milum wants to demolish the former laundry and dry cleaning complex that takes up nearly a block, but Phoenix's Historic Preservation Commission denied that request last month.

Milum says the existing structures have no potential for profitable reuse — an argument the city’s historic preservation officer rejected at a previous preservation hearing.

"There’s some public interest there. They’re buildings that have been there for a long time and people are familiar with them," Helana Ruter said.

Ruter says the membrane-like ceiling inside is what makes this 1924-era building unique.

“It’s a form of engineering that in and of itself is very aesthetically appealing. But, they’re very rare because it’s a very labor intensive form of construction," Ruter said.

Milum is now appealing to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission for the total demolition of the buildings. The commission is holding a public meeting on Monday evening and the appeal is on the agenda

Separate from Milum’s appeal, city officials are considering rezoning one building of the complex at a different hearing in February.

Tori Gantz was an intern from 2023 to 2024 at KJZZ.