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 second floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
812 N. 3rd St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt Station)
Like the neighboring Howard Cassidy House, the Alfred R. Wilson House has had its share of tenants, purposes and facelifts. It is also a relic of a once proud cluster of turn-of-the-century Western Colonials, this one rising in 1907.
Outside, an asphalt-shingled roof projects toward 3rd Street at its front façade with an overhanging soffit. Arched brick lintels accent the windows. A front recessed entry is overshadowed today by a hanging rocking chair, hearkening back to a time when this was a single-family home.
Wilson, who was a driver for Arizona Laundry, built the house to serve as his family’s home, but later rezoning allowed for commercial tenants, which have come and gone time and again over the past few decades. Recently, the house served as the Red Dog Gallery, a hub for canine-centric works of art, and the former home of Bunky Boutique before it moved into the Link Building.
The house stands in fine condition today on a concrete foundation, its brick exterior painted with concrete sheathing. But the weathered brick is not the star here. Rather, it’s the original flooring inside the home that really shines. Despite recent years’ First Friday foot traffic, it seems no worse for the wear.
Although additions to the side and rear of the home (again, similar to the neighboring Cassidy House) were made after build-out, other original elements, including the plumbing fixtures and casing, are still here.
As of this writing, the building is up for lease, zoned as a C-2 commercial property. For those interested, stop by and take a look next time you’re enjoying a beer at the Roosevelt Tavern or wandering around a First Friday route.
Source: City of Phoenix Historical/Architectural Resource Survey of the Evans Churchill Area, April 1988
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