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Survey Number: HPS-415
Year Built: 1928
Architectural Style: Bungalow

LOCATION

The McGinnis House was built in the historic 1909 Gage Addition adjacent to and south of downtown Tempe; adjacent to and west of the main campus of Arizona State University; and adjacent to and east of the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way. The Gage Addition describes the northern portion of the Maple-Ash Neighborhood, Tempe’s oldest intact residential neighborhood, which includes 338 households mostly built between the 1900's and the 1950's. Tempe had been experiencing a housing shortage in the early decades of the twentieth century and the Gage Addition (1909) and later the Park Tract Subdivision (1924) were designed to provide comfortable and modern family housing to meet the increasing demand. From around 1905, and for a period of roughly two decades thereafter, the popular Bungalow style house helped fulfill similar requirements for economy and modern efficiency.[1]

Gage Addition is identified as a Cultural Resource Area in Tempe General Plan 2030 (GP2030). Cultural Resource Areas are considered culturally significant to the character of Tempe and GP2030 states that it is desirable to maintain the character of these areas. It further recommends that all 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.[2]

The historic 1928 McGinnis House is located on Lot 2 of Block 21 of the 1908 Gage Addition to the Town of Tempe. This 7,000 sf parcel lies midway between University Drive and 9th Street on the east side of Maple Avenue at the northern most reach of historic residential development. Subdivision of the Gage Addition predated adoption of a zoning ordinance by the Tempe Town Council and this property is currently zoned R-3: Multi-Family Residential.[iii] [iv]

CONDITION

The historic 1928 McGinnis House has been meticulously maintained and has undergone relatively few changes over 80 years. Surviving with a high degree of integrity, the property provides an excellent example of how, late in the period, reductive Bungalow style houses were influenced by the Prairie style foretelling what would become a nationwide trend in period revival residential architecture. The McGinnis House is significant as one of the best remaining examples of later Bungalow style houses in Tempe. Virtually intact in a mature flood-irrigated landscape this property maintains a high level of integrity and provides a positive contribution to the historic character of the neighborhood.[v]

AGE

The historic 1928 McGinnis House is one of only 2 properties believed by the Tempe Historic Preservation Office to survive in Tempe from 1928. Based on data from the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office and Tempe HPO files, 120 Tempe standing properties have been identified that predate the historic 1928 McGinnis House having year-built dates earlier than 1928. Accordingly, the house is in the upper ninety-ninth percentile (n = 121/53665 = 99.7%) of all Tempe properties in terms of age and is considered to be a rare surviving example of early residential architecture in Tempe.[vi]

SIGNIFICANCE

Like many historic properties, the McGinnis House derives significance from several important associations with community history. Built in 1928, the house is in the upper ninety-ninth percentile (99.7%) of all Tempe properties in terms of age. The property is also significant for its association with the 1908 Gage Addition, Tempe’s oldest surviving residential subdivision; and for its association with the family of Nannie Clara and Charles Burton McGinnis. Surviving with its architectural integrity substantially intact, the McGinnis House provides an excellent example of the often reductive character of late Bungalow style houses.

City of Tempe Historic Preservation Ordinance language agrees with National Register of Historic Places eligibility Criterion A, which states:

“The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.”[vii]

The historic 1928 McGinnis House is significant for its association with the 1908 Gage Addition, Tempe’s oldest surviving residential subdivision. Developed initially in the heyday of the Progressive Era, Gage Addition was emblematic of the social activism and reform that flourished in the United States from the 1890s to the 1920s. During the Progressive Era, many American towns and cities experienced suburbanization for the first time as affluent families sought to escape the din of modern cities for more wholesome neighborhoods beyond. Tempe was no exception and gradually the town’s residential periphery crept south across the Eighth Street boundary. But residential expansion happened slowly and with the onset of WWI, much of Gage Addition remained undeveloped. By 1928, the vision for the neighborhood had undergone several transformations from the initial opulence of Progressivism, to the modest pragmatism bourn of steady expansion of the educational institutions, to arrive ultimately at the new middle-class housing stock typified by the Bungalow-style residence that would become the neighborhood’s dominant form.[viii]

City of Tempe Historic Preservation Ordinance language agrees with National Register of Historic Places eligibility Criterion B, which states:

“The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

B. “are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past”[ix]

The historic 1928 McGinnis House is significant for its association with the family of Nannie and Charles Burton McGinnis. Charles Burton McGinnis (b.1890, Fate, Rockwell Co., Texas – d.1974, Tempe) dedicated his entire life to a career with Arizona State University. He first appears in the 1931 city directory as a superintendent of buildings at Arizona Teacher’s College and by 1952, was a campus policeman, at which time the university was known as Arizona State College. He remained in this service when the college underwent its final name change, from Arizona State College to Arizona State University. In 1966, Charles retired from his position after more than 35 years of public service. Nannis Clara (Purcell) McGinnis (b.1890, Hot Springs, Arkansas – d.1962, Tempe) married Charles on July 2, 1911. They had five boys; Malcolm, James, Charles Walton, John Wallace, and Hugh Wilson.[x]

City of Tempe Historic Preservation Ordinance language agrees with National Register of Historic Places eligibility Criterion C, which states:

“The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

C. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.”[xi]

The historic 1928 McGinnis House is significant as an important surviving example of later Bungalow style houses in Tempe. Built after the Bungalow style had reached prominence, the house exemplifies the overall form and feel of the Bungalow style while, in the character of things to come, simultaneously looks further back in time to the era of the Prairie style as well.

INTEGRITY 

Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its significance. To be listed in the Tempe Historic Property Register, a property must be historically 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 of integrity which must be present in different combinations depending on the property type and the criteria upon which historic significance is based.[xii]

A building eligible for listing under NPS Criterion A must possess integrity of Location, Materials, Feeling, and Association. A building eligible for listing under NPS Criterion B must possess integrity of Materials, Feeling, and Association. A building eligible for listing under NPS Criterion C must possess integrity of Design, Workmanship, Materials, and Feeling. Tempe HPO considers the subject property to maintain these aspects of integrity sufficiently to qualify for historic designation and listing under National Park Service Criteria A, B, and C, at the local level of significance. As seen in the following discussion, the property exceeds these minimum requirements and retains more than adequate integrity to qualify for designation and listing.

Location – This property exists in its originally developed location. Gage Addition 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 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 near the middle of the 900 block of South Maple Avenue, the historic 1928 McGinnis House occupies land that was originally included within the boundaries of the 1894 Tempe Townsite. Although not subdivided until thirty years later, the subdivision was never annexed into the corporate limits of Tempe; rather uniquely, it was an integral part of the community from the onset. As that portion of the original townsite lying south of University Drive, the historic Gage Addition represented the first wave of residential development spreading beyond the limits of the early Hayden Ferry settlement. Neighborhoods predating Gage Addition have long since lost their residential character and identity and given way to commercial development of the downtown business district, expansion of the main campus of Arizona State University, or redevelopment of the Rio Salado area into Tempe Town Lake. In its original location near the fragile edge of the historic Maple-Ash Neighborhood, the McGinnis House makes and important contribution to maintaining historic scale and character at the buffer or transition zone to Tempe’s oldest remaining residential neighborhood.[xiii]

Design – Design is the composition of elements that constitute the form, plan, space, structure, and style of a property. As an intellectual process, design is informed by sociocultural trends and lifestyle preferences indicative of the availability of particular materials and technologies and responding to determinants of demand including consumer tastes and preferences, market size, income, prices of related goods, and consumer expectations. The historic 1928 McGinnis House is a reductive example of the modest Bungalow style that emphasizes the clarity and simplification of the Bungalow form as a streamlined composition of primary shapes and restricted color. Use of plain-spoken materials shown to advantage by precise craftsmanship is also characteristic of the intellectual rigor of this style of design.

The simple detailing of the McGinnis House reflects the character of the neighborhood but even more perhaps the character of the interbellum period as the considerable prosperity of the Roaring Twenties began to teeter at the onset of the Great Depression. Character-defining design elements include the front veranda with a single entry door centered in the façade and the simple gable end punctuated with a lattice attic vent surmounting a shed porch roof across the main facade. 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 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. The flood irrigated landscape has matured to enhance the setting of this charming Bungalow and emphasize the connection of the house and the landscape critical to the form. 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 also remain intact and reinforce this aspect of the property’s integrity.

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 historic 1928 McGinnis 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 Bungalow house form including; asbestos roof shingles, smooth stucco finish applied to a wood structural frame, wood double-hung windows, and wood entry and screen doors. As noted, an historically correct palate of landscape materials has been meticulously maintained and trees, shrubs, and lawn have matured to great effect.[xiv]

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. Plain materials and simplified forms demand precise craftsmanship to work effectively. The Bungalow was meant to counter the excess of the Victorian period by returning to a past when craft displayed the artisan's personal involvement with the work. Quality workmanship is fundamental to the form and with this understanding it becomes easy to see how the Bungalow style fit beautifully into the philosophies of the Arts and Crafts movement and exemplified the concept of a home for Everyman. The great emancipator, the humble Bungalow, brought style to all people whatever their economic or social status. This property continues to convey physical evidence of the crafts attendant upon the Bungalow form of residential construction in the 1920s American Southwest.

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 property, 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 proper 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 a historic property. A property retains association if it is the place where the event or activity occurred and 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 is emblematic of consecutive waves of suburbanization outward from the original settlement at the Salt River. The property still clearly marks the characteristic interwar period development that radiated in bands within the original townsite core. The property also bears a close association with Arizona State University, having been built and owned by Charles Burton McGinnis, who spent his entire career with the university. He served as a superintendent of buildings at Arizona Teacher’s College and then as a policeman at Arizona State College and Arizona State University.

CHARACTER DEFINING FEATURES

Bungalows share a conscious search for the supposed simplicity of preindustrial times meant to counter the excess of the Victorian period by returning to a past when craft displayed the artisan's personal involvement with the work. With its simple detailing historic McGinnis House exemplifies the overall form and feel of the later Bungalow style with character-defining features typical of the form. Built in 1928, after the zenith of the stylistic period (1905 to 1925), it also reflects characteristics of its Prairie style antecedents.

The historic 1928 McGinnis House is in excellent condition and retains the original features of its reductive Bungalow form intact. The most prominent character-defining features of late Bungalow style include; the front veranda with a single entry door centered in the façade and the simple gable end punctuated with a lattice attic vent surmounting a shed porch roof that visually dominates the main facade. Survival of period correct materials including; asbestos roof shingles, smooth stucco finish applied on a wood structural frame, wood double-hung windows, and wood entry and screen doors reinforce the integrity of this property.[xv]

The historic 1928 McGinnis House also reflects Prairie style influences. Although there are a small number of Prairie style houses in Tempe and throughout the Valley, these are nowhere near as prominent as in other western cities. Prominent Prairie style features of the McGinnis House include; an overall horizontal form emphasized by wide eaves and a deep horizontal porch accentuate the low earth-hugging form. Typical of the form the floor plan is basically rectangular and open (not compartmentalized). All windows have flat headers, not arched. The stucco exterior is another stylistic feature of the Prairie style that is particularly well suited to comfortable dwelling in the Sonoran desert environment of the Valley.[xvi]

The detached garage matches the house so well in scale and detailing that it is thought to be an original feature of the property despite the fact that this would represent a rather early example. The flood irrigated landscape has matured to enhance the setting of this charming Bungalow and emphasize the connection of the house and the landscape, a relationship fundamental to the form.

RESOURCES 
Letter Receipt of Nomination : : 06/08/2011 HPO to Applicant with links to relevant websites 

Research Report to Historic Preservation Commission : : 07/14/2011 Neighborhood Meeting at HPC 

Staff Summary Report to Historic Preservation Commission : : 08/11/2011 Public Hearing at HPC 

Staff Report to Development Review Commission : : 08/23/2011 Public Hearing at DRC

Staff Report to City Council : : Public Hearing at CC

Staff Report to City Council : : Public Hearing at CC 

ORDINANCE NO. 2011.18

ENDNOTES

[1] City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office 2006, Gage Addition, Park Tract, College View Subdivisions Preliminary Determination of Eligibility : : 13 Sept 2006 [revised 10/12/06] accessed Tuesday, May 31, 2011 online at - http://www.tempe.gov/historicpres/docs/MAHD-SSR101206%20PDE%20version100306.pdf

[2] City of Tempe, Tempe General Plan 2030 Adopted: December 4, 2003, Chapter 3, Land Use, Design + Development, Land Use Element, accessed online 06/08/2011 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] Maricopa County Recorder 1998, Warrantee Deed Recording Number 19980767758 2

[iv] City of Tempe, Zoning and Development Code, amended: October 2, 2008, Part 2 – Establish Zoning

Districts, Map (page 2-30) accessed online 06/08/2011 at: http://www.tempe.gov/zoning/ZDCode/ZDCpart2.pdf The Common Council of the Town of Tempe adopted its first Zoning Ordinance, Ordinance Number 177 on April 14, 1938.

[v] Tempe Historical Museum, accessed Friday, February 13, 2009 2:58:24 PM; Tempe Historic Property Survey: Survey Number HPS-415 http://www.tempe.gov/museum/Tempe_history/properties/hps415.htm [site includes link to Tempe Historic Property Survey].

[vi] City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office 2011, Compilation of construction year data from Maricopa County Assessor, MetroScan, and Ryden 1997, with Deed Research, Survey & Inventory of Pre 1941 Properties, managed by Nathan Hallam Principal Investigator under Tempe Preservation Graduate Intern Project SHPO 441023 and reported at Year_Built-MCA-MetroScan120108.xls

[vii] U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2002; Listing a Property in the National Register of Historic Places, How to Apply Criteria for Evaluation [The National Register's standards for evaluating the significance of properties were developed to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have made a significant contribution to our country's history and heritage. The criteria are designed to guide State and local governments, Federal agencies, and others in evaluating potential entries in the National Register.]

[viii] City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office 2011, FFY 2010 – Tempe Preservation Graduate Intern Project SHPO 441023 Survey & Inventory of pre 1941 Properties, Nathan Hallam Principal Investigator

[ix] U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2002; Listing a Property in the National Register of Historic Places, How to Apply Criteria for Evaluation [The National Register's standards for evaluating the significance of properties were developed to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have made a significant contribution to our country's history and heritage. The criteria are designed to guide State and local governments, Federal agencies, and others in evaluating potential entries in the National Register.]

[x] McGinnis, Howard 2011 McGinnis Family History accessed online Friday, May 27, 2011 at http://www.howardmcginnis.com/retrospect/index.php?m=family&id=I4710

[xi] U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2002; Listing a Property in the National Register of Historic Places, How to Apply Criteria for Evaluation [The National Register's standards for evaluating the significance of properties were developed to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have made a significant contribution to our country's history and heritage. The criteria are designed to guide State and local governments, Federal agencies, and others in evaluating potential entries in the National Register.]

[xii] 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 illustrate how to evaluate the integrity of a property. This chart indicates those aspects of integrity that must be present for different property types to remain eligible. For example, to identify aspects necessary for a District to maintain eligibility under criteria C (Design/Construction) enter the chart criteria column at “C – Design/Construction” and move across to the property type column for “District”, 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; Setting, Design, Feeling, and Materials. (see chart below)]

[xiii] 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.

[xiv] U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, How To Evaluate The Integrity Of A Property accessed 06/08/2011 online at http://www.nps.gov/history/NR/publications/bulletins/nrb15/nrb15_8.htm

[xv] City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office (Ryden Architects) 1997, City of Tempe Multiple Resource Area Update, Volume 2: Survey & Inventory Forms, City of Tempe Historic Preservation Office KARL 1999.2043.417 [The 1997 Survey re-evaluated surviving resources identified in the Janus 1983 study and expanded the time period of study from 1935 through 1947. The results of the 1997 Survey and the accompanying National Register amendment assist the City in protecting the community’s significant historic resources and in assuring that properties will be sensitively preserved and protected for use of future generations. This survey was partially funded by a matching grant from the Arizona Heritage Fund administered by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Arizona State Parks Board.]

[xvi] City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office 1992, “Historic Homes of Phoenix: An Architectural & Preservation Guide” Published in 1992, Historic Homes of Phoenix remains the definitive guide to historic residential architecture in Phoenix. The book provides an overview of the diverse styles of architecture in Phoenix and includes design guidelines for homeowners planning rehabilitation or restoration of a historic home in Phoenix. “Frank Lloyd Wright, the originator of the Prairie style practiced architecture in the Phoenix metropolitan area but not until 1937, well after the popularity of the style had ceased to dominate residential design.

Last updated: 5/3/2012 10:56:01 AM