Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Location: Tempe, AZ
|Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 8:49 am Post subject: Condominum developer develops a sense of Mill Ave history
|The East Valley Tribune is running an article about a "history walk" being created on Mill Avenue by, of all the unexpected people, condominium developers. Working from a campaign to understand the local culture, Avenue Communities saw an opportunity to tap into the fading history of the Ave and decided to do something interesting.
They want to bring that history back to life with plaques bearing phone-numbers that can be dialed by passersby to listen to narratives about the location being viewed. A move which I find stunningly attractive.
Avenue Communities wants to call attention to the area’s historic sites with plaques or signs that give a bit of history — and a phone number so passers-by can use their cell phones to hear a narrator tell more.
As all visitors to Mill Avenue may know, Harkin's Valley Art Theatre is where I used to sit, late into the night, notepad in hand, listening to the Rocky Horror Picture Show Goths talk amongst themselves. Between that and Java Road it represented the center of most of the Gothic community of the Ave. Although, I doubt that this will show up in the historical narrative, it would show up in mine.
The firm is developing the tour now and plans to maintain it. It won’t charge the city or property owners anything.
The firm identified nearly 100 historic sites in the area. About 30 are in the heart of downtown and would be on the tour. The historic walk would work a bit like checking out headphones for a self-guided tour at a museum — except you could use a cell phone and only check out what you’re most interested in.
There are numerous points around Mill Ave that have themselves cultural and historical significance, not just for Tempe 100 years ago, but to Tempe just a decade ago. The scene and the arts have much shorter lifespans when it comes to history.
If anyone would like to speak up about their reminiscences about locations on the Ave over the last decade, come and leave me some breadcrumbs.