10 October 2018

Huh? "An Air of Resignation" + "Powerless To Protect" The Temple Historic District

That's part of the opening paragraph for the latest "FrontPage Spotlight" Spoon-fed news story yesterday 07 Oct 2018 from the East Valley Tribune's contributing writer Jim Walsh
Don't take the news at face-value.
You can read between the headlines if you want to.
What you don't see anywhere in all the EVT's coverage for the LDS Church-for-profit redevelopment plans is any information whatsoever about the Temple Historic District or how they acquired a 20-acre tract of land on Main Street from Mesa Drive to Horne or who did the real estate development.
As it turns out The Temple Historic District is not so historic after all, but it does tells us how the Mormons started to expand their real estate holdings here in Mesa, starting with wards and stakes when more of the faithful increased (O yes, they are "stakeholders"), how early businessmen gained riches from the federal government and WPA projects, how federal loans financed post-World War II real estate development, and how they all made fortunes  in for-profit affiliates of The Church - in finance, insurance and real estate.
Please note: there is an insert detailing that the so-called $6M CIP for Pioneer Park was 'completed' in 2016....? When it really cost taxpayers double-the-price or $12,000,000 when it was completed this year. . . and now "The Church" wants to double-the-size of the Mesa Temple Area ReDevelopment, demolishing some of those qualifying properties in the last segment on Udall Street..... Read on >
For that information - official information directly from the city's website - you need to take the time to find out. Here's a map of that expanded area below 1st Ave from Google Maps
Map of Temple Historic District, Mesa, AZ
Temple Historic District
Source: https://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/historic-preservation/temple-historic-district 
Local Historic District Designation: February 2001
Listed to the National Register of Historic Places: November 2000
The Temple Historic District is found immediately east of the original townsite and is composed primarily of two residential subdivisions,
  • The Arizona Temple addition opened in 1922
  • The  Stapley addition opened in 1924.
The district encompasses three north-south streets – Mesa Drive, Udall Street, and Lesueur Street - and is bounded on the north by Main Street and on the  South by Broadway Road.
These streets were named for Mormon pioneers which were instrumental in the settlement and founding of Mesa City (later called Mesa).
This district is composed primarily of residential buildings with a few associated commercial properties and a very prominent religious property for which the residential district is named, the 1927 Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as the LDS Temple).  
Although the perimeter of the neighborhood has suffered from some modern intrusions and from the conversion of historic houses along Mesa Drive to commercial use, for the most part it retains its original residential character.
On the north, south, and east sides of this district of Bungalow and Period Revival Style houses are post-WWII residential neighborhoods featuring Ranch Style houses.
West of the district is the original Mesa Townsite which is a mixture of commercial and residential development representing many succeeding decades of architectural styles.
The layout of streets and parcels in the Temple Historic District demonstrates the evolution of land subdivision and street design in the earliest development beyond the limits of the original townsite. Also, the styles of the houses here are a visual record of the popular trends in Mesa’s residential architecture in the early twentieth century.
The Temple Historic District in Mesa is significant for two reasons.
> First, it is considered significant under National Register criteria "A" in the area of Community Planning and development for its relationship to broad patterns of community development in Mesa. > Second, the Temple Historic District illustrates important examples of architectural styles common in Arizona during the first half of the twentieth century. The Temple Historic District is considered significant under National Register criteria "C" for the architectural styles and periods that it represents.
> The period of significance for the district starts in 1910 with the platting of the Kimball Addition and continues until 1949, the end of the 50-year period of significance for the National Register.
The significance of the Temple Historic District is described under two historic contexts.
Context one "Mesa's Suburban development, 1910-1949," describes the development of subdivisions outside the original townsite.
Context one describes the significance of community development in Mesa.
Context two, "The Evolution of Architectural Styles in Mesa Townsite Extension, 1922 to 1949," describes the significant architectural styles and themes which influenced the stylistic treatment of buildings in Mesa as represented by the district. Context two describes the architectural significance of the district.
Two  historic contexts developed in 1993 and 1997 surveys closely reflect the two contexts used in this National Register nomination.
Contexts identified by Woodward are
> "Mesa City: From Mormon Settlement to Urban Center, 1878 to 1945"
> "The Evolution of Architectural Periods in the Mesa Townsite, 1878 to 1945."
Contexts identified in the 1997 survey are
> "Mesa's First Suburbs: From Early Townsite Extensions to Modern Neighborhoods, 1910 to 1945"
 > "The Evolution of Architectural Styles in the Townsite Extensions, 1910 to 1945.
Historic Context One:
Mesa's Suburban development, 1910-1949
The expansion of Mesa into this particular area outside the original townsite is closely related to the construction of the LDS Arizona Temple, completed in 1927.
The Temple Historic District is significant for its association with the development of a cohesive neighborhood of middle and upper class families in Mesa from 1910 to1949. Although a portion of the area was originally platted as the Kimball Addition in October if of 1910, most of the buildings in the historic district were built between 1922 and 1949 within two subdivisions that encompasses most of the Temple Historic District
The Kimball Addition (platted in October 1910) was the third subdivision to be platted outside the original Mesa townsite. It was preceded by the North Evergreen subdivision (July 1910) and the Evergreen Acres subdivision (August 1910).
These three subdivisions represented the expansive growth of Mesa in the second decade of the twentieth century.
During this period the demand for residential housing led to the development of subdivisions outside the boundaries of the original townsite. These subdivisions were designed and marketed to appeal to the suburban resident who wanted to avoid the problems associated with "city living."
The land in the Kimball Addition was owned by the Kimball family. W.A. Kimball was a Mesa pioneer who arrived in 1881. His father, Heber C. Kimball, was first Counselor to Brigham Young. In Mesa, William Kimball owned and operated the Kimball House hotel. A staunch Republican, Kimball served one term on the County Board of Supervisors. Kimball married Emma (Emeline) Sirrine, a member of another prominent early Mesa family.
Mr. Kimball died in 1906, survived by his wife. She began development of the Kimball Addition in 1910. Two reasons have been advanced for its failure to develop. The establishment of two other subdivisions prior to the Kimball Addition may have saturated the market in Mesa. Secondly, plans for the Arizona Temple were already in the works as early as 1910. Church officials may have persuaded Mrs. Kimball to hold onto the property for eventual selection as a possible temple site. Although historians disagree on the reasons, the Kimball Addition was never sold as individual lots and it remained in the single ownership of Emeline S. Kimball.
A major project which spurred growth on the southeastern edge of the townsite was the construction of the Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The construction of the LDS Temple achieved the realization of many generations of LDS pioneers
As plans were being drawn for the Arizona Temple, church officials began to make plans to provide for housing in the area that would complement the coming improvements.
The promoters of the Arizona Temple Addition, opened in 1922, included prominent members of Mesa's Mormon community.
These included J.W. and Anna M. Lesueur, O.S. and Polly Stapley, John and Eva Anna Cummard, and C.R. and Nellie D. Clark. Anticipating construction of the Temple, this group purchased the Kimball addition from the Kimball family and replatted it as the Arizona Temple Addition. 
O.S. Stapley arrived in Mesa with his family at age 10. He married Polly Hunsaker of Mesa in 1894 and started the O.S. Stapley Company hardware and lumber company with his father-in-law. The firm prospered, particularly after construction started on Roosevelt Dam. As a prominent construction materials supplier at the start of the Apache Trail to the dam, Stapley gamered a large amount of government business. His firm later expanded operations to Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale, and Buckeye.
In addition to his hardware company, Stapley amassed considerable holdings in real estate. Stapley was also an active member of the LDS church.
John Cummard was a relative latecomer to Mesa. He arrived in the United States form Liverpool in 1908 as an LDS convert. He moved to Mesa in 1912 where he obtained his US citizenship in 1918.
Cummard was president of the Maricopa Stake for 19 years.
He served on the Arizona Corporation Commission from 1933 to 1935, and as state examiner from 1939 to 1941. He was also a charter member of the Rotary Club and chairman of the Mesa Red Cross. Beyond finding time for these church and community activities, Cummard was in the real estate and insurance business.
In contrast to the earlier Kimball Addition, the Arizona Temple Addition replaced the two planned 80-feet wide east-west streets with one major east-west street.
This was an extension of First Avenue from the townsite and maintained its generous 132-feet width. This street was designed as a wide, tree-lined ceremonial boulevard which made use of its width and orientation to create a strong view axis toward the Temple.
The  west facade was the principle facade of the Temple.
Lots on East First Avenue were advertised as "Facing the Temple – at a Bargain". 
The earliest houses constructed in the Arizona Temple Addition were built on either side of East First Avenue. The axis with the Temple made this street the most prestigious in the subdivision.
> The next focus of development was Lesueur Street, facing the Temple grounds.
> Later development took place on Kimball Avenue, south of and parallel to First Avenue.
> The Udall Street portion of the Arizona Temple Addition was the last to develop.
The second subdivision associated with the Temple was Stapley Acres.
This subdivision was located to the south of the Arizona Temple Addition and the Arizona Temple grounds.
Stapley Acres had an unusual shape: a single row of ten 60 by 90-ft. lots were oriented east-west along Hobson Street (now South Mesa Drive), with seventeen 60 by 603 ft. lot running north-south extending to the east.
This subdivision was platted in 1924 by O.S. and Polly Mae Stapley, pioneer Mesa residents. O.S. Stapley was owner of the O.S. Stapley Hardware Company which had stores in several valley communities. Stapley and his family continued to occupy the large Stapley home just south of the subdivision.
The advent of the Great Depression after the stock market crash in 1929 curtailed economic growth in Mesa and the nation. Because the depression was strongly felt in the agricultural section of the economy, Mesa was hard hit. As a consequence, very little residential home construction took place for the next few years. The nation began to come out of the depression by 1937, as a result of Federal government public work programs, but only the advent of World War Two could bring a final end to the economic downturn.
The dearth of home construction in the Temple Historic District continued during World War Two, but for a different reason. The war effort required a total commitment of supplies and materials. The result was a shortage of building materials and restrictions on the amount of goods people could purchase. The patterns of slow growth in the district continued through the war years.
The one exception to this generally slow pace of residential and commercial construction during the war was the erection of the LDS 5th Ward Church in 1943. Population expansion required additional facilities. Derived from the 2nd Ward, this new ward church building provided space for weekly church services.
Following World War, a great expansion in population occurred in Arizona. Soldiers and war workers who had experienced the climate and attractive lifestyle of Arizona during the war decided to make the state their permanent home. This increase in population coincided with an increase in spending for home construction and business development. Workers and soldiers went on a spending spree with their savings and "mustering out" money to build homes and businesses.
The improved economic climate resulted in a new wave of construction in the Temple Historic District. Many of the vacant lots which had remained from the early years of the subdivision soon blossomed with houses. A series of community amenities and businesses developed to serve the needs of the new residents.
Historic Context Two: The Evolution of Architectural Styles
in Mesa Townsite Extensions, 1922 - 1949
Several architectural styles are represented within the Temple Historic District which reflects its 27+ year period of development. The earliest architectural style found is the National Folk or Vernacular style. Although this style is primarily seen in homes construction during the initial settlement period in Mesa, it can also be found in homes constructed towards the end of World War II.

Church doubles size of Mesa temple area redevelopment
"An air of resignation seemed to settle over the Mesa Historic Preservation Board last Tuesday as members realized they were powerless to protect the Temple Historic District as they heard that a redevelopment plan for the area will nearly double. . .
LINK > click here
Mesa Temple Update - August 2018
Monthly video update of the progress of the Mesa Temple renovation project currently underway. Music "White Dress" contributed by Kenneth Cope.

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