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Preserve Phoenix, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving historic places within the city, invites you to join them on November 1, 2013 from 6- 9 PM to celebrate the renovation of the DeSoto Building, a wonderful, enduring example of the city’s early car culture that sits prominently at the intersection of Central Avenue and Roosevelt.

Originally built in 1928, the building, formally known as the CP Stephens DeSoto Six Motor Cars building, served as an auto dealership until 1955. Since that time it has been used for a number of different purposes and most recently served as an antique shop.  Throughout the years, as the building’s uses changed, so, too, did the façade. At some point, the large showroom windows were covered in stucco and the garage doors were added to the back and side. By the time it was purchased by its current owner, Ken Cook, it had deteriorated significantly and was in need of substantial repair.

Exterior rendering of the DeSoto Building

After purchasing the DeSoto, Ken Cook began working with architect Bob Graham of Motley Design Group to oversee an extensive and faithful restoration  of the DeSoto that has put new life, not only into the structure itself, but also into the gateway area of downtown Phoenix.  At Preserve Phoenix, we understand that undertaking such a task is a daunting effort fraught with risk.  Therefore, when we see owners with the dedication and tenacity to see such a project through, we want to recognize and celebrate their achievement.

We have arranged to open up the building to the public on this coming First Friday. We have hired a lighting expert to highlight the architectural features of this massive warehouse and, in keeping with the art gallery tradition of First Fridays, will host an exhibit of historic photographs from the archive of Vintage Phoenix.  The photographs, which will be projected in slide show fashion on the exposed brick walls of the DeSoto, will provide a rich perspective on the building’s history and help viewers better understand the evolution of downtown Phoenix.

The November 1st event is free and everyone is welcome. For those of you who care about preserving Phoenix’s history, we strongly encourage you to come and show your support for an effort that has made a significant contribution to the preservation of our city’s heritage.

If You Go

Where: DeSoto Building, SE corner of Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street

When: Friday, November 1 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Cost: FREE



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  • Michael Hjerpe

    November 1st is a Saturday. Friday is October 31st.