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Public input sessions slated for Scottsdale City Hall historic property designation pursuit

Photo of Scottsdale City Hall statue
The Scottsdale Historical Preservation Commission is taking formal steps to provide City Hall a historic property designation to ensure the views of history remain. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/
Scottsdale City Hall historic status possible through zoning map amendment
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Municipal documents show since last summer City Hall leaders have been making formal preparations to propose Scottsdale City Hall as a historic landmark providing future generations examples of brick-and-mortar to admire the leaders who came before them.

Scottsdale City Council unanimously approved through consent last month the initiation of a zoning district map amendment that will be proposing the building and architectural accoutrements Bennie Gonzales built as a landmark of the community’s past. The building itself, the Scottsdale City Council Kiva Auditorium, was originally constructed in 1968 and is a significant example of ‘Pueblo Revival’ architectural style, experts agree.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday April 12, and Thursday, April 13, at One Civic Center, 74447 E. Indian School Road, the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Commission is hosting public input sessions to hear from local residents on the forthcoming historical designation proposal to be presented later this year at the local dais.

“Scottsdale’s original Civic Center, ‘The Plaza,’ was originally envisioned in the 1964 Scottsdale Town Enrichment Program as the city’s civic and municipal center,” said Jesus Murillo, Scottsdale historic officer in his March report to City Council.

“In 1965, Architect Bennie Gonzales, AIA was selected from among 35 other architects to design Scottsdale’s Civic Center, which included Scottsdale City Hall. At that time, the only direction given to Mr. Gonzalez was that the design should ‘represent the southwestern way of life and the spirit of Scottsdale. The entire complex should bring about a dignity of government in the eyes of the people and provide an environment of dignity to the people who came to these buildings.’ Consequently, City Hall was dedicated on Oct. 11, 1968.”

Scottsdale City Hall historic status possible through zoning map amendment

In his report, Mr. Murillo explains, the zoning change to the overlay historic property district will help ensure the quality and integrity of the area.

“The proposed zoning district map amendment to rezone the property to the downtown civic center type 2 planned block development downtown overlay historic property district (d/dcc-2 pbd do hp) will assist in maintaining and preserving city hall as the central location of the city of Scottsdale’s primary government, library, museum, park, recreational facilities, and cultural center,” he said. “City staff contacted Logan Simpson Design to assist in the preparation of a forthcoming Scottsdale Historic Property Register nomination and historic preservation plan for City Hall.”

In the coming weeks, Mr. Murillo points out, Logan Simpson Design will embark on the below items:

  1. Complete the archival research of City Hall necessary to establish the history, significance, and Scottsdale Historic Property Register eligibility. This research will be overseen by an individual of LSD that meets or exceeds the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for a Historian.
  2. Complete in-person documentation (photographs and notes) of City Hall; and
  3. Prepare a ‘Preservation Plan’ for City Hall.

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