This Could Be Phoenix | activism
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activism Tag

Phoenix Preservation
24 Apr

A History of Advocacy and Preservation in Phoenix

This week marks one month since the demolition of 222 E. Roosevelt, a former bar and lounge and local art gallery, and home to what were murals by famed Arizona painter Ted DeGrazia. The building had been slated for demolition for months, despite community outcry — there was an internet petition with more than 1,600 signatures to save the building and murals, and a Superbowl-weekend mock funeral for the neighborhood. There were plans to preserve the building by moving it to a new location, and then there weren't. And on March 20, bulldozers moved in. It was a sad story to watch unfold, but not all of Phoenix's preservation struggles end in a heap of paint dust and broken brick. Over the past decades, historic preservationists and Downtown advocates have had many successful moments in saving pieces of Phoenix history. Check out a few of the biggest ones below.
02 Apr

My Phoenix Story: Lisa Parks

Ten years ago, I left the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Phoenix to live closer to my parents. They had retired to the Verde Valley from Michigan and I hadn’t lived near them in sixteen years. As beautiful as it is, San Francisco never felt like home. That place was reserved for New York City, where I spent most of my twenties and half of my thirties. It still feels like my hometown, even though I lived in Michigan until just after college graduation. I felt like I really grew as a person when I reached Manhattan and I fell in love with that city. But as friends got married, had children and moved out of NYC and to neighboring Boston, I found myself following them there, enjoying a wonderful two-year stint. Having lived in all of these great places, it was easy to compare Phoenix to them when I first arrived and wondered what on earth I had just done.

The Heart Grows Fonder

My first exposure to Phoenix had me seeing sprawl, freeways, huge arterial streets, little in the way of public transportation and no walkability. Having spent many years without a car, I wasn’t thrilled to have to drive everywhere. But I wanted to be closer to family and so I was committed.
Call for your My PHX Story
24 Feb

My Phoenix Story: Submit Yours!

Some time ago, we started a series called My Phoenix Story. This column features members of the Downtown/Central Phoenix community and tells their unique experiences of life in this city. It serves as a snapshot of the community where we live, work and play, providing a firsthand look at what it’s really like to experience Phoenix on a daily basis. We’ve seen wonderful stories ranging from the transplant who found her passion in advocacy to the Phoenix native who has watched Phoenix reinvent itself before his eyes. But we want to see more. That’s where you come in. We are now opening a call for submissions to our My Phoenix Story column. We are looking for strong first-person accounts of what brought you to Phoenix, why you stayed, and what Phoenix means to you. Stories should have an emphasis on Phoenix’s good qualities and potential. We know you love your city. Here’s your chance to tell us why.
My Phoenix Story: Libby Coyner
21 Feb

My Phoenix Story: Libby Coyner

Before moving to Phoenix, I thought the city was a maze of strip malls and freeways. But since moving here, I've learned about and experienced the city's rich history, bikeable neighborhoods, and welcoming community. Every morning, I wake up and make a French Press while looking out over historic 1934-era Encanto Park. This park in the heart of Phoenix is incredible. It features tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, playgrounds, lagoons, picnic areas, pedal boat rentals, golf courses, walking paths, an amusement park, and if you're lucky, you can even find some Live Action Role Play (complete with costumes!) I love living in the Encanto area because it is so vibrant - I've never seen a park get so much use! People from every different kind of background gather for family time, fitness, and fun, and I get to watch it out of my window. The neighborhood is also perfect for me because it is filled with lovely historic homes, and the owners have a real sense of pride about getting to own a piece of Phoenix history. Of course, probably the biggest perk for me is that the bike lane is right out my front door. I'm a three mile commute to my work at the State Archives, and haven't driven my car to work since last April!