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.

901 N. 4th St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt Station)

ReBAR bustles nightly and on sunny weekend afternoons, but the tiny bungalow on 4th and Garfield streets was never intended as a drink-slinging hangout.

No, until recently, the c.1917 building was a quiet, single-family home, built by A.A. Lyall. Its serious present-day alteration, courtesy of a 2009 makeover by landlord Norm Fox, clad the building in COR-10 (Bare Naked) steel, leaving the shell of the building intact, but making it virtually unrecognizable from its original appearance.

A weathered façade of rustic, desert-grade steel is complemented by new windows and treatments inside, including shiny, lacquered floors and the bar build-out topped with a one-of-a-kind steel accent piece overhead.

The original home was a one-and-a-half-story brick building standing on a concrete foundation with fired brick sheathing. It featured a gabled roof — still in place today, albeit esthetically much different — with asphalt shingles. The makeover kept the exposed rafters under the hood in place.

The old widows, centered on arched brick lintels, are now departed in favor of pseudo-industrial replacements with steel slats, which are admittedly a neat visual accent, but a far cry from their historic predecessor.

Perhaps interestingly, the recessed, off-center front entrance remains in its original spot, tucked in a dark alcove beneath a front veranda porch supported by four columns. The initial paneled wood door is of course long gone in favor of a now matching steel and glass number, which serves as the pass-through point from bar to patio.

To revisit the history of next-door restaurant Bliss, click here.

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Source: City of Phoenix Historical/Architectural Resource Survey of the Evans Churchill Area, April 1988

Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at with the address and a brief description.