The city-owned Leighton G. Knipe House has sat, dilapidated and in dire need of TLC, on its lot on 2nd and Portland streets for years, and its unfortunate fire damage (alleged arson) this past spring has only worsened the conditions on this c. 1909 home.
Today, the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission will meet to discuss the Knipe’s fate, and your voice can be heard. The meeting will review the report findings and recommendations of local architect Bob Graham, ask for public comment, and discuss the feasibility and/or appropriateness of using Historic Preservation Bond funds (and other available funding) to make the needed repairs (approximately in the $100,000 range just to fix the fire damage).
Options include reconstructing the fire-damaged portions, weather-tightening the building, holding on (hopefully) until the economy recovers and then seeking an adaptive reuse partner, or demolishing it due to cost. If the latter is chosen, it will result in another dirt lot in an already dirt-filled Evans Churchill neighborhood.
Even before the recent fire, the Knipe House was listed on the Phoenix Historic Neighborhood Coalition’s Most EnDangered Dozen Historic Places List. The lot size allows for on-site parking if a refurbishing is undertaken.
The “Save the Knipe” meeting takes place this afternoon at 4:30 at Historic City Hall, 130 W. Washington St., second floor. If you cannot attend the meeting and still want to share your thoughts, please email City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Officer Barbara Stocklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.