Historic Home expo in Mesa to provide tips for owners of old homes - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Historic Home expo in Mesa to provide tips for owners of old homes

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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 11:10 am | Updated: 11:20 pm, Tue Jun 11, 2013.

A free expo scheduled for next week in Mesa will provide owners of historic property information about how to maintain their piece of Arizona history.

Scheduled for June 15 at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa, the Historic Homeowner’s Expo will feature numerous vendors specializing in products and services for historic homes — defined as houses that are at least 50 years old and possess historical significance — and several sessions from experts about homecare. A few of the topics set for discussion include green retrofitting, landscaping and irrigation, advice about how to hire a contractor and guidance about how to research an historic home.

“It covers the entire gamut,” said Mesa Preservation Foundation president Vic Linoff.

Linoff said the information provided during the expo can assist historic home owners preserve the houses while keeping them relatively up to date. For example, Linoff said homeowners can retrofit the interior of an older home with new technology as long as the building exudes a realistic view of how it looked back in the day to passers-by.

Similarly, Linoff said the homeowners will learn more about the tax benefits they can receive to offset the costs of maintaining their old house.

“Maintaining an older building requires more effort than newer construction,” he said.

City of Mesa planning director and historic preservation officer John Wesley said the benefits of the expo also branch out to local historic neighborhoods — he said the city has seven or eight of them — that contain houses built as far back as the 1920s.

Those homes and neighborhoods, he said, are a way for the city and its residents to keep touch with Mesa’s past.

“They do represent that character and history of Mesa,” he said.

Linoff’s organization is one of the event’s three sponsors —the Arizona Preservation Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office/Arizona State Parks are the other two — and he said the purpose of the expo extends beyond the practical. Rather, the event is meant to reinforce the necessity of ensuring those homes don’t become lost to the ages.

“It’s very important,” he said. “History defines our future; we have to know where we came from before we march on to the great unknown.”

Due in part to the Valley’s relative newness and the ensuing buildup, the number of historic homes are few and far between. Linoff estimates that of the 65,000 homes in Tempe, only 259 — accounting for approximately .4 percent — of them were built before World War II, with most of those split into three districts. He noted approximated one-third of homes in Tempe were built prior to 1965.

It’s a trend that encompasses other East Valley cities like Mesa and Chandler, he said, and it underlines the importance of preservation.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to consider some of these are worth saving,” he said.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additional information about the expo is available by visiting azpreservation.org.

If you go

What: Historic Homeowner’s Expo

When: June 15 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Where: Hilton Phoenix/Mesa: 1011 W. Holmes Ave.

Information: azpreservation.org

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