Chandler residents who have old photos of landmark buildings are being asked to help out with an arts project aimed at celebrating the city's history. The city's arts and business communities are partnering to create special plaques featuring old photographs and information to be placed on historic downtown buildings.
"We are asking residents to get nostalgic and take some time to search through their old scrapbooks to see if they have any photos or memorabilia featuring buildings and businesses in downtown Chandler," according to a statement from Chandler public history coordinator Jean Reynolds.
Artists will design each plaque that will be placed on designated historic buildings around Dr. A.J. Chandler Park.
"Interior and exterior photographs from any year are welcome, but we hope to find photos of the buildings from their early years, the 1910s and '20s and on up through the 1970s," Reynolds said. "It may be that former business owners or longtime residents have some great photos in their personal collections."
Chandler's historic downtown area has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with renovated buildings becoming home to new restaurants, art galleries and other businesses.
Examples of historic structures include the Monroe Building, which was built in 1912 and served as a meeting hall, a hardware store, a grocery and the Parkway Theatre. Today, it is home to El Zocalo Mexican Grille.
Another, the First National Bank Building, built in 1920, is now home to Kokopelli Winery. And the San Marcos Hotel has been the centerpiece of the downtown since 1913.
The project is a joint effort of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, the Arts Commission and the city's Museum Division.
Residents who wish to donate or loan their downtown Chandler photos or memorabilia to the Chandler Museum can call Jean Reynolds at (480) 782-2751 or the city's curator of collections, Nate Meyers, at (480) 782-2717. The photos will be digitally scanned and archived for possible future use in publications, promotional materials, displays and on the City's Web site.