From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
614 N. 4th Ave. in Roosevelt
Two doors north of Local Breeze sits one of the Roosevelt neighborhoods’s original structures. This house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 30, 1983, was constructed in 1906. But, if you’re new to the area, you probably don’t know that it was part of a dynamic duo. One lot to the north, the former 618 N. 4th Ave. (now Metro 4 Twelve apartments on a double lot at 620 N. 4th Ave.), was a virtually identical cottage built five years prior in 1901.
The historic name of the twin cottages is unknown, but their uncanny likeness to each other — one-story concrete block cottages with hip roofs and dormers, porch overhangs and similar craftsmanship “designed to look like stone” — was unlike anything the neighborhood had seen. Even the trim and accent colors were strikingly uniform.
Today, the remaining house is simply known as “Concrete Block Cottage” in historic references, or “Concrete Block Neoclassical House” by the city of Phoenix’s Historic Preservation Office. The city added the building to its historic register three years after its NRHP designation in September 1986.
The building left standing at 614 has been boarded up for some time, but its turn-of-the-century charm remains apparent, despite its current state. It needs of a new roof, a serious paint job and some structural work on the porch and overhang. The front and back yards of the property are empty dirt space.
Source: Phoenix Historic Building Survey by Charles Hall Page and Associates, Inc., September 1979; City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office
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