Hayden Flour Mill, located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, is one of Tempe’s most iconic buildings. It is among the primary reasons our city exists today.History
Hayden Flour Mill is a relic of our agricultural past, when Tempe was a small town surrounded by miles of farmland and anchored, economically, by the processing and marketing of grain, cotton, fruit, vegetable, and dairy products. Like the creamery complex on East 8th Street, Hayden Flour Mill ranked among the prominent agricultural industries in the Valley. It purchased most of the grain grown in Central Arizona and milled many of Arizona's best known flours: Sifted Snow, Arizona Rose, and Family Kitchen among them.
As it stands today, the mill remains the oldest cast-in-place, reinforced concrete building in Tempe. Constructed in 1918, it replaced an earlier adobe mill lost to fire in 1917. This earlier mill, built in 1895, had itself replaced the original 1874 Hayden Flour Mill, also lost to fire. The current building was designed to be fire-proof; its architects and builders used techniques developed in the wake of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. The grain elevator and silos east of the mill were constructed in 1951 and remained the tallest structures in Tempe until 2007.
On April 1, 1998, Bay State Milling ceased milling operations at Hayden Flour Mill, ending the longest run of continuous use for an industrial building in the Valley.
Take a look at a newspaper celebrating the Mill's Centennial. Read more about the Mill's history and other Tempe historic buildings by visiting our Tempe Historic Preservation pages.
The Hayden Flour Mill is located at a prime intersection in downtown Tempe. Since the day the mill stopped grinding grain for flour, developers have formulated plans to adapt and reuse the mill and silos. Past plans did not come to fruition. The City of Tempe put out a request for interested developers this year. Four responses were received.
The city was looking for: capacity of an organization to make a significant development happen; demonstrated past success with historic structures; financial strength; and creativity. The city’s procurement process concluded that the partnership that was the most successful respondent was Baum Development, Aparium Hotel Group, SmithGroupJJR & Sundt Construction.
Protecting Our History and Environment
The Mill & Silos are iconic. The City of Tempe wants to keep the site a landmark for future generations. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and is pending listing on the Tempe Historic Property Register. The current building dates to 1918 but other mills have been on the site since 1874.
The city has protected Hayden Butte, otherwise known as A Mountain, by designating anything above the elevation of 1180 feet mean sea level as the cut-off for any sort of development.
Tempe respects the significance of Hayden Butte to the Four Southern Tribes of Arizona. Those are the Ak-Chin Indian Community, The Gila River Indian Community, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Tohono O’odham Nation.