CALL TO ORDER
ROSSON HOUSE RESTORATION COMMITTEE
WESTERN SAVINGS BOARD ROOM
February 23 , 1978
Chairman John Driggs, Presiding
The Chairman called to order this special meeting of the Rosson House Restoration
A Discussion of Block 14 - Stabilization and Restoration.
The Chairman initiated a discussion of Block - 14 and the possible use of Community
Development Block Grant Funds to stabilize and restore the houses on the southern
half of the block .
The Committee was asked to make recommendations to Council for CDBG funds to stabilize
and restore the houses on the south half of Block 14 and two carriage houses.
It was noted that the City was committed through the NDP Plan to maintain the Block
for historical, cultural purposes and visitor orientation. On the other hand NDP
has said that it has the responsibility to insure that the Block has revenue producing
potential. Mary Hudak was of the opinion that revenue potential would be determined
to a great degree by the Block's aesthetic appeal focusing attention within
the Block itself and on neighboring areas.
The major concern, was first of all, if the houses were salvageable. Fred Karr of
Western Savings made some determinations. He said the duplex on 6th Avenue is in
the best condition, followed by the Silva House, with the remaining three "in diaster"
or near "disaster condition" and these descriptions assume solid studding. This also
assumes leaving all room dimensions essentially the same.
Mary Hudak and Edwa Osborn expressed concern not over the issue of stabilization but
over the degree interpreted by Karr's statements. The Chairman said that we are
not discussing restoration to the "ridiculous extreme" - or restoration in the
critical sense but rather functional restoration for adaptive usage, acceptable to
the State Historic Preservation Office.
The Chairman asked Ed Moonjohn and Fred Karr to make the group aware of cursory
appraisals. Ed Moonjohn is a contractor. These are as follows:
Silva House - 628 w. Adams $36,000
622 w. Adams 50,000
614 w. Adams 48,000
604 w. Adams (Corner 45,000
115 E. 6th Street 35,000
Carriage house 22,000
Carriage house 22,000
It was explained that all roofs, wiring, plumbing, and air conditions need to be
replaced. The lean-to's must be rebuilt and interior plastering is a necessity.
Two opposing opinions became apparent. John Driggs and Bob Frankeberger's points
of view are summed up below:
1. The funds sought are Federal and are not City contingency funds.
2. I f Phoenix doesn't use the funds some other City will; if they aren't
used for Block 14 they will be used some place else.
3 . The City is committed to restoring the entire Block and this includes
4. The houses are either on or are candidates for the National and State
Registary of Historic Places.
5. The houses can generate income and help defray the cost of stabilization
and restoration by providing off ice area for civic groups such as AIA.
6. Civic groups such as AIA may contract to do much of the repairs, this
cost serving in lieu of rent.
7. Assuming that civic organizations traditionally are destitute, their
value in creating traffic and activity would make up for a direct loss
of rent revenues.
Harry Montgomery and Chet Goldberg had other views. They were as follows:
1. $260,000 is an awful lot of money to spend for such purposes.
2. If the houses were in such condition as described it might be better
to raise them.
3. Federal money is still people's money and should be used judiciously.
4. The area devoit of houses might be better served as a park.
Rosson House Restoration Committee Minutes Page Three
5. It would be virtually impossible to collect rent of any size when
tenant repairs serve in lieu of rent.
6. It is doubtful that the houses would attract rentors with the ability
to pay their way.
7. Rosson House is not analogous with Block 14, for the former represent
citizen's money while Block 14 represents taxpayers dollars.
8. Chet Goldberg questioned whether any money should be spent on these
houses in such condition.
9. Goldberg questioned the City's prerogative in becoming a benevolent
10. Both felt that the matter should be reviewed carefully, with a determination
of what money, how much, the relationship with tenants and a
pay back period. Both felt that conununity groups would not be the best
renters insofar as a return on investment of funds for stabilization
and restoration is concerned.
General discussion raised the issue of whether the City might wish to or even have
the right to raise buildings on the National Registary. The Chairman noted that a
range of options are possible and asked that these be reserved for further discussion.
Since Council needed to know the Conunittee's position he asked for amotion to preserve
the Block "as it now is."
It was moved by Mary Hudak, seconded by Gordon Barr and carried, the following
I move that we apply for Conununity Development Block Grant Funds in the
sum of $260,000 for the purpose of preserving the historic nature of
the block as long as the option exists that the use of the buildings and
the potential razing of unwanted structures be available within the confines
of that application.
The meeting was then adjourned by general consent.
Carl E. Craig
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