Washburn Piano Co. Bldg Slated to be Demolished

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azpreservation
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Washburn Piano Co. Bldg Slated to be Demolished

Postby azpreservation » Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:17 pm

A few days ago I received a flyer in the mail saying the Washburn Piano Company (in that unique, round building on the northeast corner of 20th St. & Camelback Rd.) is having a "store closing sale" because "the landlord wants to raze the present store and construct a new building in its place for a financial institution."

Jim McPherson
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Arizona Preservation Foundation
http://www.azpreservation.org

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PixelPixie
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Postby PixelPixie » Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:00 pm

I find this to be totally appalling. Washburn's building could be a brilliant nightclub or restaurant with tons of authentic cache. Matthew and I spent a good part of our lives growing up mere yards from this building. The corner will never be the same with a box where a cylander belongs.

Let us know, Jim, whatever our community can do.

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Jason Hill
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Postby Jason Hill » Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:44 pm

It is always amazing to me that investors can't see the potential in buildings like this. They only need to look at the model of Palm Springs to see the advantage in refurbishing beautiful buildings like this one. Why is Phoenix's Historic Preservation office so slow to register this and other buildings like it? Really sad...

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AstroMan
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Postby AstroMan » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:37 pm

NO! I have always loved that building...I live just about a mile from it now, and drive past it everyday on my way to and from work...I have thought it would be a great place for a restaurant...but many people probably don't see it as a thing of beauty like most people here on this board does...

azpreservation
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Voice Your Opinion!

Postby azpreservation » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:38 pm

Here are individuals you can contact to voice your opinion about the proposed demolition of the Washburn Piano Company Building at 20th St. and Camelback:

Craig Steblay, Chair, Camelback East Village Planning Committee, 602-952-9504 (home phone)

Katherine Coles, City of Phoenix Planning Department, katherine.coles@phoenix.gov, 602-256-5648

Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, barbara.stocklin@phoenix.gov, 602-261-8699

Greg Stanton, City Council Member, greg.stanton@phoenix.gov, 602-262-7491

Washburn Piano Company, 602-956-7600, http://www.exxlcorp.com/contact.html

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Al Farmer Jr.
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NE Corner of 20th Street and Camelback

Postby Al Farmer Jr. » Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:43 pm

I too am furious at the idea of tearing down the wonderful mid-century gem located at the NE corner of 20th Street and Camelback. I grew up and still live in this neighborhood, and I can not bear to see this demolition take place. I will contact those in city government that you have listed. I would like to think we could save it if we made a fuss. Thanks for caring about the past.

Alison Chandler
alchandler@cox.net

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PixelPixie
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Postby PixelPixie » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:23 am

An editorial via a link sent to me buy Jim....

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepubli ... ts271.html

Get it before the link expires.

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Al Farmer Jr.
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20th Street and Camelback Demolition

Postby Al Farmer Jr. » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:02 pm

I received an email from Barbara at the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Department saying there is nothing her office can do to save this building. I talked with the tenant Washburn Pianos and they too are sick about losing the building to Lone Star State developers. They are working with the Phoenix Art Museum to save an important Native American Indian Mural that is on the main showroom wall. If you want to see it hurry up the store closes this Sunday.

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PixelPixie
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Postby PixelPixie » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:51 am

If you haven't seen it yourself yet cruising a jillion times down Camelback, here's what we're all talking about:

Image

The view of the Washburn building from the street today, at 20th and Camelback intersection.


Image

The backside of the Washburn building, when parked in the lot.


Image

The loading bay. Note the W-shaped roofline above the bay.


Image

Even their lamp-posts match the crinkled motif set by the roofline.

If any of you can get in there for some shots from the interior this weekend before they close, particularly the mural, that would be greatly appreciated.

I did the exterior, the rest is up to you...

azpreservation
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Postby azpreservation » Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:54 am

I chatted with an employee at Washburn Piano and asked who the developer was. He said the demolition was a foregone conclusion and declined to give me the developer's contact name. I got the impression -- and I could be wrong -- that he was told not to give out contact information. He did say they were from California. A message on the http://www.modernphoenix.net board above says, "Lone Star State developer."

I did find this information on the Maricopa County Assessor’s website:

SECURITY ASSOCIATES/CHEYENNE PLAZA ASSC L P
1111 BAYHILL DR., STE 450
SAN BRUNO CA 94066 USA

Tax Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/Assessor/ParcelApplication/Detail.aspx?ID=164-67-001-A

Deed: http://156.42.40.50/UnOfficialDocs/pdf/97-0238864_1.pdf

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Al Farmer Jr.
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Vague information about building owner

Postby Al Farmer Jr. » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:32 pm

You are correct in that Washburn (building tenant) is very vague about Who is redeveloping this property. The employee I spoke with said that a bank from the state of Texas owns the property, and they will be tearing down the structure to erect a new bank on the site. Ironic since it was originally a bank! Anyhow the building was built in 1964, so it is quite a few years shy of being deemed historic. Unfortunately for Phoenix most people can not see the beauty of a structure such as this, I too always thought it would make an excellent restaurant or nightclub. It is just a crying shame.

azpreservation
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Postby azpreservation » Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:44 pm

From Donna Reiner, Chair of the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission...

I did provide my comments on the merits of the building to the head of the management company (he was in town this week). I think one of the problems is that we don't have imaginative potential tenants who want a main floor, mezzanine, and basement. It's a fabulous building. In addition, they have been most cooperative with me (turning the water back on so we could run the a/c system for the sake of the workers and leaving the electricity on). And then, the management company is willingly going to sign the mural over to a local museum.

So far, this has all come out of my pocket (I'm Datus' biographer). Do you know of any emergency type funds to assist with the removal?

azpreservation
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Who to contact about the Washburn Piano Company...

Postby azpreservation » Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:32 pm

Here is the name of the Management Company (in Houston) and phone number:

Bill Mehrens, President
SC Management, A Division of Sherman Clay
P.O. Box 680024
Houston, TX 77268
1-800-777-8841

And again from the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office:

Owner: SECURITY ASSOCIATES/CHEYENNE PLAZA ASSOC L P
Mailing Address: 1111 BAYHILL DR STE 450, SAN BRUNO CA 94066
Deed #: 970238864
Sales Price: n/a *
Deed Date: 4/11/1997

cinecapri
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why make a bank a bank?

Postby cinecapri » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:19 am

the washburn piano store was originally a bank. (I think it was a western savings). When the branch closed, the piano store moved in and kept the feel of the place, including the original mural. It is a fantastic building with great lines. Unfortuantely, Phoenix tends to lean toward tearing down anything that is over 30 years old. How do we establish a sense of pride and history when our architechtural cultural base is continually pulled out from under us?

googie2525
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...the same place?

Postby googie2525 » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:26 pm

...if i'm not mistaken, was this amazing structure used as the residence of the villain in the artsy 1994 neo-noir flick "suture?
...i actually plan on moving to phoenix in a couple of years, and find this forum very exciting and informative, as i live in gawdawful san antonio in the meantime, where everything is boring spanish revival stucco-stucco-stucco and mcmansion tear-downs...

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f379/ ... suture.jpg


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