Roosevelt neighborhood to celebrate historic preservation

On April 27 the Roosevelt Action Association will hold a celebration of historic preservation at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater. (Courtesy of ASU's digital repository)

Historic preservation has been a hot topic in Phoenix with community members, preservationists and developers. But on Thursday, rather than be the center of controversy, downtown Phoenix historic buildings and rich history will be the honored and celebrated.

The Roosevelt Action Association will host the first annual Celebration of Historic Preservation at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27. Tickets will be $10 and will include drinks and snacks.

The Historic Roosevelt neighborhood will be producing the celebration, encouraging residents to join the party and learn more about the preservation of historic buildings in Phoenix.

The event is a “party of preservationists” and will include a tour of the Puppet Theater, explanations of the building’s rich history, historical resources, and many auctions to help inform the public about historic buildings and why to preserve them.

Fundraising for the event will be donated to the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Path Legal Fund. Community members battled the FAA over airplane noise in residential areas ever since the FAA implemented flight path changes. The lawsuit recently moved to federal court hearings, but there still is a legal bill.

The auctions will include items such as local art, tickets to upcoming events and books by local authors on the history of Phoenix.

Preserving historic houses and buildings requires legal action which has become expensive and therefore need more support, according to Steve Dreiseszun, vice chair of the Downtown Voices Coalition and neighborhood representative in the lawsuit.

“While yes it is a fundraiser, the primary goal is to bring people together,” said Sherry Rampy, former Roosevelt Action Association President.

Rampy hopes the event will help educate the public and gain their interest in the history of Phoenix.

People are also encouraged to bring forth their success stories concerning historical preservation.

“I think we focus on our losses, which we have to be aware of and work toward not having historic losses,” Rampy said. “But I think we also need to celebrate the historic wins we’ve had.”

Dreiseszun sees the event as a chance to support a worthy cause in the local neighborhoods.

“We want to see friends, we want to enjoy each other’s company,” Dreiseszun said. “We want to come together and continue to expand our friendships.”

Rampy hopes that the event will continue as a fun celebration throughout the years and spur the interests of the downtown residents.

“The more you educate people the more it becomes important to them,” Rampy said. “I think history should be important to everybody especially our Phoenix history and preserving it.”

The tickets can be purchased for $10 tickets online.

Correction: April 26, 2017

An earlier version of this story included Wednesday as the day the event will take place. It has been corrected and updated to show the event is on Thursday.

Contact the reporter at Bayne.Froney@asu.edu.