Some of you have been following along as we have worked to save the WPA building at the state fairgrounds.
Seems the fairground board is bent on tearing down another historic building in Phoenix. They believe that they will make more money for the fair by renting tent space on the land where the building used to be.
We believe, and have shown, that this is not true. We already have parties who are interested to rent all or part of the renovated building. But the fair board is not willing to wait that long.
I understand their frustration. The Arizona Legislature has been sweeping money from their ticket sales for years to “balance” the budget. This has left the fair with nothing for renovation, let alone long-term planning.
In 2014, when the fair board was about to tear the building down, some of us found a way to halt the demolition. The fair board gave us a year. In that time, we have come up with tens of thousands of dollars in commitments to repair the building.
But now we are told that the time is running out. The fair board plans to demolish in April, unless we raise $100,000 to at least repair the roof. However, they have resisted our efforts to get architects in to the building to assess what it would take to repair the roof.
We need your support to save this piece of Arizona heritage. Please contribute whatever you can to the Arizona Preservation Foundation for the WPA building.
Some on the Fair Board are fearful that a bunch of historic preservationists will come along and alter the grounds such that they will never be able to host a fair again. I think I can speak for folks in the preservation community when I say that this is not the case. Our state fair, which is unique in so many ways, has the room for preservation while maintaining our annual state fair –our heritage.
There is common ground here, as large as the Veteran’s Colosseum.