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Keeping History in the Spotlight: Peoria Adds Important Building to Historic Register

Post Date:01/02/2019 4:07 PM

Keeping History in the Spotlight: Peoria Adds Important Building to Historic Register 

PEORIA, Ariz. (Jan. 2, 2019)  Future generations will now get a glimpse into Peoria’s past, thanks to a recent naming of Peoria High School’s Old Main on the National Register of Historic Places. The Keeper of the National Register recognized the iconic building, located at 11200 N. 83rd Ave., for its commitment to preserve the original structure and historical essence.

Recognized properties must be at least 50 years old, have maintained the integrity of the facade of the building and reflect a historical significance such as architecture, people, a place or an event. Built in 1922, Old Main was designed as a Spanish Colonial revival by the local architectural firm of Lescher, Kibbey and Mahoney, and has distinct architectural characteristics that represent the era. When originally built, it was the only building on a 10-acre lot surrounded by hundreds of acres of farmland. Nearly 50 years passed before other buildings would be added to the campus.

“I’m thrilled to see the National Register of Historic Places has recognized this distinctive building,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat. “The City of Peoria has a remarkable history and through the preservation of our important assets – such as this extraordinary site, we solidify our commitment to carrying our incredible heritage with us and passing it along to future generations.”

“As our district’s first high school, Old Main holds wonderful memories for many families,” said Peoria Unified Superintendent Linda Palles Thompson. “It is so fitting that Old Main has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Within its grand and historic façade are modern educational programs that are preparing a new generation of students to shape the future. We are incredibly grateful to our community for providing the support necessary to restore this beautiful building.”

At the turn of the 21st century and after more than 86 years of use, Old Main was in desperate need of repairs and closed in 2008. With community diligence and support from the Governing Board, in 2011 Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) began the process of preserving Old Main with construction complete in 2014. Today, the building is home to Peoria Unified’s Medical, Engineering and Technology (MET) Professional Academy, which works to inspire, empower and shape future leaders, as well as the district’s non-traditional high school, Peoria Flex Academy.

Tamara Caraway and Jonathan Schmid, now with Avid Architects, worked on the design that restored the roof and interior of the site, alongside the building team from CORE Construction.

This building now joins Palo Verde Ruin, Peoria First Presbyterian Church and the Peoria Central School for sites within the city on the National Register of Historic Places. This nomination raises community awareness and pride, and provides a new level of protection through federal funding opportunities. For more information on the National Register of Historic Places, visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalregister/index.htm.

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