Historic Commercial Building and Adaptive Reuse Tours
Visitors will be touring a preserved historic structure (Phoenix Laundry and Dry Cleaning – now Milum Textiles), a historic complex that is under complete renovation and restoration (OS Stapley Hardware buildings), and an adaptive re-use project of a vintage warehouse building (1205 Space – now housing John Coll P.L.L.C). Guided by knowledgeable historians, attendees will learn about the interesting history of Grand Avenue – a “diagonal in a land of grids” – while discovering the mid-century modern gems, unusual architecture and unique adaptive re-use projects along the street.
- Starting times and tour guides: 8am (John Jacquemart & Will Novak), 9am (Marshall Shore & Louisa Stark), 10 am (Doug Towne) and 11 am (Louisa Stark & Gerda Lobo)
- Meet at 333 N. 7th Avenue (Milum Textiles)
- Free on-street parking available along Polk St between Grand and 7th Ave or along Grand all day long
- Total walking distance for tour is 0.5 miles. A central area to park is on Grand, just north of the second tour stop, which is at 723 Grand Ave
- Allow 2 hours for a tour – please wear a hat and comfortable walking shoes
- After the tour, festival goers can view The Greenest Building, a free film about the adaptive reuse of older buildings, at 1022 Grand Avenue at the Soul Invictus Peformance Space.
- Screening times: 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm (If you cannot make any of these screening times, the film will be screened again at 6:30 in the parking lot at Bragg’s Pie Factory.)
Phoenix Laundry and Dry Cleaning (now Milum Textiles), originally constructed in 1925, was rebuilt using some of the original structure in 1935 after a very large, horrific fire. Architect Fred Whittlesey designed the new building for the A.H. Lawrence family and it is an outstanding example of 20th century brick commercial architecture and a unique example of streamline modern architecture. The roof is a rare example of a wide span wood lamella roof structure, which is a vaulted roof consisting of a crisscrossing pattern of parallel arches skewed with respect to the sides of the covered space, composed of relatively short members (lamellae) hinged together to form an interlocking network in a diamond pattern. Lamella roof construction was invented in Europe in 1908 and introduced in the United States in 1925. The use of lamella roofs has diminished since the 1970s, and this is a rare opportunity to see one.
The building and business was purchased by Boyd Milum in 1956. It is currently operated by his son Craig as a fully functional industrial laundry that uses state of the art equipment like a large washing machine that processes 4,000 pounds of laundry per hour, while only using 1/2 gallon of water per lb. (the lowest water use industrial washing machine in the State).aaaaaaaaaaaaaa
The OS Stapley Hardware Store was opened in 1917 on Grand Avenue, by O.S. Stapley, whose first hardware store in the Valley was established in Mesa in 1895. According to the Maricopa Historical Society
O.S. Stapley came to Arizona when he was about ten years old. When he was 16, he went to work on a farm and later drove a stage between Mesa and Phoenix to help support his family. He became interested in the hardware business during this time and in 1895 opened his first hardware business in Mesa. Stapley, with a savings of $880, stocked his store with anything that had to do with horses and buggies. This included harnesses, hand-tools, lanterns, blacksmithing and an assortment of household goods.
He married Polly Hunsaker in 1894 and together they raised nine children. Throughout the years of store growth, most of their nine children worked in the stores and carried on the tradition of their father’s honest values and responsible service. Stapley became the first farm equipment distributor in the world when he secured a government contract for supplying all the hardware for the building of Roosevelt Dam which added much to the family’s wealth.
Stapley was a member of the constitutional convention that wrote Arizona’s constitution to gain statehood and served as a state senator from 1916 to 1918.
1205 Space at 1205 W. Pierce was originally built in 1947 as a masonry storage warehouse, and this commercial building now serves as the law office of John R. Coll, P.L.L.C. Architectural features of this interesting adaptive reuse space include beautiful wood trusses, cement floors, exposed duct work, cement block and a loft office floor plan. Mr. Coll ’s practice includes probate and copyright matters and the art on display in the building is periodically open to the public for viewing.