Survey Number: HPS-164
Year Built: 1920
Architectural Style: California Bungalow
BACKGROUND + STATUS:
The historic 1920 Windes - Bell House, located at 24 West 9th Street in the 1909 Gage Addition Subdivision, has been nominated for historic designation and listing in the Tempe Historic Property Register at the request of the property owners, Jenny Lucier and Dan O’Neill. The historic 1920 Windes - Bell House is significant for its association with Tempe attorney Dudley Windes, with Tempe pioneer Ellen Bell, and as an excellent surviving example of the California Bungalow style frame house in Tempe. The property embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type of construction (California Bungalow style frame house) and survives with a high degree of architectural integrity. This report examines the contributions of previous owners to community history and develops the significance of the Bungalow house form in the context of Residential Architecture in Tempe, Arizona from 1909 to 1945.
The 1920 Windes - Bell House is located on the western half of lots 3 and 4 of Block 21 of the historic 1909 Gage Addition subdivision. As originally platted, Block 21 was laid out with an east-west service alley dividing it roughly in half. The north half was the original location of the subdivider’s residence. The George N. Gage House is now located at 115 W. University, but it was originally located on Block 21, at the southwest corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive. The remainder of the north half of Block 21 may have been anticipated for commercial development as this was not further subdivided but instead shown as a single large lot.
The plat divided the south half of the block into 8 residential lots of roughly 1/6 acre each. These lots were oriented east-west with lots 1 through 4 fronting on Maple Avenue and lots 5 through 8 fronting on Mill Avenue. In its original 1909 configuration, Gage Addition was platted on both sides of Mill Avenue, reaching from the railroad right-of-way at the west to Willow (College) Avenue at the east, and from 8th Street (University Drive) at the north to 10th Street at the south, with blocks 22 and 27, just west of Mill Avenue, shown as “School Property” and the site of the 1909 High School. As Block 21 developed, however, residences were built oriented south to front on 9th Street instead of Maple Avenue.
Today all of block 21 along University Drive and Mill Avenue has been redeveloped for use as commercial property, with only the properties at 24 and 22 West 9th Street and 821 and 1114 South Maple Avenue retaining their historic residential use. Situated at the northeast corner of 9th Street and Maple Avenue, this 1920s California Bungalow style home takes on the character of a landmark – and survives as a rare example of residential development from Tempe’s early growth period from 1909 to 1930 which coincided with the completion of Roosevelt Dam, Arizona statehood, tremendous expansion of the agricultural economy, increased development of subdivisions, of city services, of the Normal School, and of transportation systems linking Tempe to the rest of the Valley and throughout the region.
The Windes - Bell House in the Gage Addition subdivision was built as part of the first wave of expansion of the small, mostly agricultural Tempe community. Gage, with other capitalists from Tombstone and California, formed the Tempe Land and Improvement Company to take advantage of new real estate opportunities resulting from railroad access and to initiate the purchase and formal development of the settlement as a townsite. The Company, under the local supervision of Gage, promoted the sale of lots, helped build commercial buildings to form the nucleus of the business center, helped organize the bank of Tempe, and provided construction materials through a local lumber yard.
Tempe’s growth fluctuated but steadily increased for the two decades at the turn of the century, and in 1909, Gage opened 80 acres for development as the Gage Addition. This was the first major residential expansion in the original townsite.
The Gage Addition Subdivision is identified as a Cultural Resource Area in Tempe General Plan 2030. Cultural Resource Areas are considered culturally significant to the character of Tempe and GP2030 states it is desirable to maintain the character of these areas. General Plan 2030 recommends the underlying zoning in place at the time the plan was adopted should remain the highest appropriate density for Cultural Resource Areas. Accordingly, Cultural Resource Areas are indicated on the GP2030 Projected Land Use Map with the density of the zoning in place at the time the plan was adopted on December 4, 2003.[ii]
The Windes - Bell House is significant as one of the best remaining examples of California Bungalow style frame houses in Tempe. A single-story frame house covered with clapboard siding, the house is organized around a central porch with a gable porch perpendicular to the low-pitched house roof and projecting beyond the roof overhangs. Overhangs on the main facade and the porch roof are supported by square wood posts set on square concrete and stucco piers. Exemplary stylistic features include open eaves, brackets under the porch gable, symmetrical pergolas at either side of the porch roof, and vertical ventilator louvers on the porch and gable ends. Characteristic of California Bungalow style, windows on the side facades are paired and double hung, while the central window grouping of the main façade consists of a single double-hung window with double-hung sidelights. All windows are wood-framed. The house was converted to a duplex early on. The wide, low concrete porch has a single step up which leads to offset single-door entrances. Other than the addition of a second entry door, the house has changed little from the original configuration when this classic bungalow design marked an important addition to the new neighborhood. The historic 1920 Windes - Bell House continues to convey its architectural qualities of design, workmanship, materials, and feeling.[iii]
The Windes - Bell House is one of only 12 Tempe properties believed by the Tempe Historic Preservation Office to survive from 1920. Based on data from the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office and Tempe HPO files, 67 standing Tempe properties are thought to predate this historic house having year-built dates earlier than 1920. This 1920 house is in the ninety-ninth percentile (n = 67/53,665 = 99.9) of all Tempe properties in terms of age.
Tempe HPO is conducting field survey work that has revised construction dates for many properties in Gage Addition. Particularly suspect are properties indicated as built in decade or mid-decade years (1900, 1905, 1910, etc.) as this appears to be a rounding device in many cases. This property is an example. Listed in the 1983 Survey as “Built c1919”, the subsequent 1997 Update indicates 1900 as the year built. Maricopa County Assessor’s Office data indicates Dudley W. Windes purchased the lot from the Tempe Land and Improvement Company on September 18, 1919. Windes, whose previous address was listed on 6th Street in Tempe, appears at this location in the 1920 City Directory, making 1919 or 1920 credible as the year built.[iv]
The Windes - Bell House is significant for its association with Tempe’s 1909 Gage Addition. The Gage Addition, just west of the ASU campus, forms the northernmost part of Tempe’s Maple-Ash neighborhood. Platted in 1909, the Gage Addition contains homes built primarily during the first half of the twentieth century, and could qualify as an historic district.
The Windes - Bell House is significant for its association with Dudley Windes who practiced law in Tempe from 1915 to 1923, and served briefly as an American Vice Consul in Madrid during World War I. Windes was a Superior Court Judge of Maricopa County from 1923 to 1931, and Special Assistant Attorney General from 1935 to 1937. Windes built the house at 24 West 9th Street in 1920 and lived there until 1923 with his wife, Hope. As Superior Court Judge, Windes was required to establish his primary residence in Phoenix. After four years as a rental property, Ellen Bell purchased the house from Windes in 1927 and lived in it for many years. Bell was an early Tempe settler, having arrived in 1883. As a widow she supported her eight children by managing a large dairy farm and keeping boarders.
The Windes - Bell House is significant as an excellent example of the California Bungalow style frame house and survives with a high degree of architectural integrity. Character-defining features of the type include the one-story, wood frame, with square floor plan. The house sits on a crawlspace foundation. The clap board siding is milled for the typical territorial 4-inch exposure with a generous horizontal radius and the once familiar Dolly Varden rabbet profile. The walls are topped by a low pitched, side-gabled roof with brackets under the overhangs and distinctive vertical louvered ventilators at gable ends. A front porch shades the house’s dual entryways with side overhangs and a front-gable roof supported by stucco piers and square wood columns. The roof is flanked symmetrically on each side with an open pergola whose lattice work filters sunlight at the south exposure. The porch roof also features the distinctive vertical louvered ventilator. Windows are double-hung with those on the east and west elevations paired traditionally. The property embodies many characteristics of the California Bungalow style frame house construction widely popular from about 1895 until about 1940 and constructed in Tempe from 1909 to 1945.
Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its significance. To be listed in the Tempe Historic Property Register, a property must be significant under ordinance criteria and must also possess adequate integrity to communicate this significance to persons familiar with the property and to the community at large. The integrity of a property is evaluated according to aspects which must be present in different combinations depending on the criteria from which historic significance is derived.
Like many historic properties, the 1920 Windes - Bell House derives significance from several important associations with community history. Through “association with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of community history,” this property survives as an example of early residential development in the historic 1909 Gage Addition subdivision. A building eligible for listing under this criterion must possess integrity of Location, Materials, Feeling, and Association.
By “association with the lives of significant persons in our past” the property has an important connection to Tempe attorney Dudley Windes and to Tempe pioneer Ellen Bell. A building eligible for listing under this criterion must possess integrity of Materials, Feeling, and Association.
Finally, as an example that “embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represents the work of a master” this property distinguishes itself on two counts; first it is significant for its historicity simply because it exists in the upper ninety-ninth percentile (n = 67/53,665 = 99.9) of all Tempe properties in terms of age. Consequently, the property is considered to be a rare surviving example of early residential architecture in Tempe. Second, due to its high level of architectural integrity, the Windes - Bell House is significant as one of the best remaining examples of California Bungalow style frame houses in Tempe. A building eligible for listing under this criterion must possess integrity of Design, Workmanship, Materials, and Feeling.
The Windes - Bell House is considered eligible for historic designation and listing in the Tempe Historic Property Register under National Park Service Criteria A, B, and C, at the local level of significance based on the continued integrity of Location, Design, Materials, Workmanship, Feeling, and Association.[v]
Location – This property exists in its originally developed location. The Gage Addition subdivision encompasses a collection of historic resources directly associated with the early growth and development of Tempe and the Salt River Valley. The evolution of Tempe over the past 140 years holds national, state, and local significance for its important role in the development of the Salt River Valley as a center of commerce and education, as a critical link in the transportation networks during the settlement of the Territory, and for its associations with important political figures. Tempe’s unique heritage is exemplified in its significant residential architecture and infrastructure. These exist today in the Gage Addition subdivision as manifestations of those Arizona pioneers who transformed the desert environment of the Salt River Valley into a community of enduring consequence and unequalled character unique in Arizona.
Sited prominently at the southeast corner of 9th Street and South Maple Avenue, the Windes - Bell House occupies land that was originally included within the boundaries of the 1894 Tempe Townsite. Although not subdivided until fifteen years later, Gage Addition was never annexed into the corporate limits of Tempe – rather uniquely, it was an integral part of the community from the onset. Today, the south portion of the Original Townsite, the historic Gage Addition subdivision is a busy and vibrant residential neighborhood. The clear and present landmark character of the Maple Ash Neighborhood retains popular historic identity throughout the community and beyond.[vi]
Design – Design is the composition of elements that constitute the form, plan, space, structure, and style of a property. Because properties change through time, changes may acquire significance in their own right and changes do not necessarily constitute a loss of design integrity. Although an addition was made to the rear of the Windes – Bell House, the house continues to maintain original spatial relationships between major features; visual rhythms; layout and materials; and the relationship of other features as they were originally constructed and developed. Design aspects typify the California Bungalow style and continue to maintain this aspect of integrity.
Setting – Setting is the physical environment of a historic property that illustrates the character of the place. Although integrity of setting is not a condition precedent to designation in this case, the property nevertheless retains connections to the physical environment of its surroundings. Original relationships of buildings and structures to the streetscape and landscape; layout and materials of alleyways, walks; and the features of flood irrigation and other infrastructure remain largely intact.
Materials – Materials are the physical elements that were combined or deposited during a particular period of time and in a particular pattern or configuration to form a historic property. A property must retain key exterior materials dating from the period of its historic significance. Integrity of materials determines whether or not an authentic historic resource still exists. The Windes – Bell House retains key physical elements as they were originally configured to reveal the preferences, to indicate the availability of particular types of materials, and to exemplify technologies characteristic of the California Bungalow style house form.[vii]
Workmanship – Workmanship is the physical evidence of the crafts of a particular culture or people during any given period of history. Workmanship is important because it can furnish evidence of the technology of the craft, illustrate the aesthetic principles of an historic period, and reveal individual, local, regional, or national applications of both technological practices and aesthetic principles. The Windes – Bell House conveys physical evidence of the crafts attendant upon California Bungalow style wood frame residential construction in Tempe during the 1920s.
Feeling – Feeling is a property's expression of the aesthetic or historic sense of a particular period of time. It results from the presence of physical features that, taken together, convey the property's historic character. This property expresses the aesthetic sense of its interwar period of significance. The physical features of the Windes – Bell House, taken together, are sufficiently intact to convey their significance to someone familiar with the original property as well as to persons throughout the community to whom the property distinguishes itself as historic. Retention and good maintenance of original design, materials, workmanship, and setting as described above is sufficient to create a discernable sense of place at the historic property.
Association – Association is the direct link between an important historic event or person and an historic property. A property retains association if it is the place where the event or activity occurred and it is sufficiently intact to convey that relationship to an observer. Like feeling, association requires the presence of physical features that convey a property's historic character. This property maintains direct links between important events in community history and is emblematic of the consecutive waves of suburbanization pushing outward from the original settlement along the Salt River. Today, the Windes – Bell House provides an excellent example of the first wave of residential development that radiated in bands within the core of the original townsite.
Letter Receipt of Nomination : : 02/04/2011 HPO to Applicant with links to relevant websites
Research Report to Historic Preservation Commission : : Neighborhood Meeting at HPC
Staff Summary Report to Historic Preservation Commission : : Public Hearing at HPC
Staff Report to Development Review Commission : : Public Hearing at DRC
Staff Report to City Council : : Public Hearing at CC
Staff Report to City Council : : Public Hearing at CC
ORDINANCE NO. 2011.11
[i] City of Tempe, Tempe City Code Chapter 14A – Tempe Historic Presvation Ordinance, Ord. No. 95.35, 11-9-95; Ord. No. 2004.42, 1-20-05 accessed 03/02/2011 online at: http://www.tempe.gov/citycode/14aHistoricPreservation.htm
[ii] City of Tempe, Tempe General Plan 2030 Adopted: December 4, 2003, Chapter 3, Land Use, Design + Development, Land Use Element, accessed online 03/02/2011 at: http://www.tempe.gov/generalplan/FinalDocument/chapter3.pdf Cultural Resource Area (existing density allowed by zoning) Areas identified on the density map, which are considered culturally significant to the character of Tempe, based on the 2001 Post World War II Subdivision Study. It is desirable to maintain the character of these areas. The underlying zoning should remain the highest appropriate density for these areas. These areas are shown as Cultural Resource Areas, with a projected density to match the zoning at the time this plan is adopted.
[iii] City of Tempe, Tempe History Museum, accessed Friday, February 13, 2009 2:58:24 PM; Tempe Historic Property Survey: Survey Number HPS-163 (Elliott House) http://www.tempe.gov/museum/Tempe_history/properties/hps163.htm [site includes link to Tempe Historic Property Survey].
[iv] NATIONAL REGISTER INFORMATION SYSTEM http://www.nps.gov/nr/ Database refreshed on April 24, 2008.
[v] Garrison, James, 1999; Aspects of Integrity: Generalized Application http://www.tempe.gov/historicpres/Centennial[SampsonTupper]House.html [State Historic Preservation Officer Jim Garrison created a matrix titled “Aspects of Integrity: Generalized Application” to indicate aspects of integrity that must be present for different property types to remain eligible.
For example, to identify aspects necessary for a Building to maintain eligibility under Criterion C, enter the Criteria row at “C – Design/Construction” and move across to the property type column for “Building”, to see that four of the seven aspects of integrity must be present to maintain the integrity of a district that has significance under criteria C, they are; Design, Workmanship, Materials, and Feeling.
[vi] As evidenced by the abandoned effort to designate the Maple Ash area historic whereby over 100 letters in support of the designation and listing were received by the city from concerned citizens throughout the community.
[vii] U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, How To Evaluate The Integrity Of A Property accessed 03/02/2011 online at http://www.nps.gov/history/NR/publications/bulletins/nrb15/nrb15_8.htm