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First Baptist Church - Phoenix, AZ
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member jennyanykind
N 33° 27.029 W 112° 04.671
12S E 399824 N 3701748
Quick Description: One of Phoenix's oldest churches was gutted by fire in 1984.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 7/13/2014 3:48:59 PM
Waymark Code: WMM38A
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:
From Wikipedia (visit link)

"The First Baptist Church at 302 West Monroe Street in Phoenix, Arizona was built in 1929. While local architects Fitzhugh & Byron "prepared the working drawings and supervised the building's construction," it was mainly designed by supervising architect George Merrill "of the Department of Architecture of the American Baptist Home Mission Society in New York."

It was designed in an Italian Gothic style, but includes Moderne and other architectural elements."

The church is just a block away from Phoenix City Hall and two blocks away from downtown Phoenix and light rail. The church was in use until 1969.

In 1984 a fire gutted the interior, leaving the church without a roof while the exterior walls and bell tower remained standing. In 1992 it was saved from demolition by placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservationists in Phoenix are actively campaigning to reuse the church by turning the interior into an open-air urban garden that would host concerts and other cultural activities. Source: (visit link)

The Arizona Republic recently published a "Then & Now" comparative photo essay of the church, which are posted here as well as my personal picture. There is no marker about the fire at the site, and looking at the building you would never know that the inside was gone.
Type of Structure: Public building

Other: Baptist Church

Construction Date: 1/1/1929

Fire Date: 1/1/1984

Structure status: Gutted building

Cause of Fire:
There is little contemporary evidence - see http://www.higherground4x4.com/goexplore/phoenix-first-baptist-church/ - but speculation is that a homeless person built a fire for warmth and it ignited the church's wooden floors.


Documentation of the fire: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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ILuvAZ visited First Baptist Church - Phoenix, AZ 2/15/2014 ILuvAZ visited it