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Phoenix council approves first grant in honor of former mayor Phil Gordon

Phoenix leaders have awarded the first threatened building grant since the program was named after a former mayor.

The City Council unanimously approved $400,000 to help preserve and rehabilitate a single-story home built in 1909. Mayor Kate Gallego said funding will come through the Phil Gordon Threatened Building Grant.

“Before Mayor Gordon was mayor, he was a young developer, and he worked very hard on rehabbing historic buildings in the Roosevelt District to spur commercial adaptive reuse projects. In 1986, he filed the application to list the first historic property on the Phoenix historic property register,” she said.

Mayor Phil Gordon
Mayor Phil Gordon at the Phoenix Veterans Day parade in Phoenix, Arizona.

Councilwoman Laura Pastor thanked Gordon for his preservation work.

“There were others that wanted to do it, but he really took the the lead and put his money where his mouth is and, and basically said, ‘We're going to preserve these areas.’ We would not have our historic districts if it hadn't been for Phil Gordon really pushing and leading in that space," Pastor said.

Wednesday’s council vote will cover roughly a third of the cost of setting a new foundation, rehabbing the house to use as a restaurant, and relocating it on the property at Third Street and McKinley to make room for apartments.

The single-story red brick house is listed in the National and Phoenix historic property registers. It’s recognized for its Craftsman style architecture and association with  Elizabeth Seargeant-Oldaker, who’s credited with founding the Arizona Museum in 1923.

The property owner, LiveForward Development, plans to contribute $626,316, with $324,329 expected to come through the state.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.