The city of Phoenix received the 2010 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award for the A.E. England Motors Company Building Rehabilitation Project at the recent Arizona Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference.
The building is located in the Downtown Civic Space Park, a new 2.8-acre park in downtown Phoenix. Originally built in 1926 as an automobile dealership, it also housed a variety of retail businesses over the years including a stationery store and an art gallery.
The building had been vacant since the 1990s and fallen into disrepair. In the early 2000s as the city was planning a new downtown park adjacent to the ASU downtown campus, it was determined that structurally it could be rehabilitated as an historic building to be used for city and public events and meetings as well as gallery spaces. Part of the building also houses city offices, a small café and retail space.
“The A.E. England Motors Building is an outstanding example of how an historic building can be sensitively integrated into a contemporary urban environment for public use,” said Barbara Stocklin, Historic Preservation officer. “Phoenix continues to protect and enhance its historic neighborhoods, buildings and sites, and heighten public awareness of these historic properties.”
The project also was designed using sustainable practices. An example is the low-sloping roof, whose direction was reversed to direct rainwater to the underground “stormtech” system that recharges the groundwater system.
The Downtown Civic Space Park has won a number of awards including the 2009 Valley Forward “Crescordia Award” and the McGraw Hill Construction Regional Southwest Contractors Best of 2009 Arizona Award.
Two other Honor Award winners also are located in downtown Phoenix and were projects that received city historic preservation rehabilitation grants. They are Arizona Hardware Supply Company Warehouse, 22 E. Jackson St. and Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center (Temple Beth Israel/First Chinese Baptist Church) at 122 E. Culver St.