After being fenced off for 14 years, the grounds of Tempe’s historic Hayden Flour Mill will open to the public on May 22. The city has renovated the long-abandoned space around the mill, adding a lawn for events, historical markers and landscaping. Tempe anticipates using the prime downtown location to show movies on the side of the mill and as a place to host events. The $350,000 project was funded by the Rio Salado Foundation.
The mill was one of Tempe’s first businesses, opened in 1874 by Tempe founder Charles Trumbull Hayden. The current mill building opened in 1918, closed in 1998 and later came under city ownership.
“It has long been an eyesore,” said Nancy Hormann, president of the Downtown Tempe Community. “We are excited that it will now be a welcoming entry point while also opening up the long-needed connection between the businesses on Mill Avenue and our unique asset of Tempe Town Lake.”
Tempe plans a post-summer grand opening, on the evening of Sept. 20.