Monday, August 20, 2007

Glendale Tract Community Center

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and built in 1937 to function as a social hall, the Glendale Tract Community Center is a 1,900 square foot adobe structure located at 5027 West Waite Place in Glendale. The social hall (pictured at left) was built to serve the surrounding neighborhood -- a residential subdivision developed by the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal Agency. During the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration created the 24-home Glendale Tract subdivision as part of a plan to relocate displaced farmers and unemployed urban workers to planned, part-time subsistence farm projects where they could help themselves by growing their own crops. The current nationally recognized historic district consists of 13 of the original houses and the community center, all of which are a rare example of New Deal programs in Arizona, specifically in Glendale.

The current owners want to redevelop the parcel, demolishing the community center and constructing eight-residential units. While the City of Glendale has rejected the initial plans for the site, it's only because the city will not allow more than five residential structures to be built. The owner needs eight residences to make their project viable, however, if they can make due with a smaller number of residences, there is little to stop the destruction of this rare, New Deal building.

[For more information, contact Ron Short, historic preservation officer, City of Glendale, at 623-930-2592 or e-mail.]