Tempe Directory of Historic Buildings 

Tempe has more than 200 historic buildings. Enjoy this searchable directory of information and photos.  For more information on any of these properties or to learn how your property can be listed, please contact Tempe Historic Preservation Officer John_Southard@tempe.gov 

Many of the properties on the Tempe Historic Register, the National Register of Historic Places or the list of historic eligible properties are privately owned and not open to the public. Please respect the privacy of those who may be living in these houses. 

Historic Eligible is a formal classification of parcels which contain buildings, structures, or sites which meet the criteria for designation as a Tempe Historic Property, but which have not been formally designated as "Historic." 

How to Use This Directory

You may search this directory by the categories of Tempe Historic Register, National Historic Register and Historic Eligible Properties. Simply click the down arrow on the All Categories box below and select the one you would like to see. All the properties in that category will appear.  

SUMMARY – Constructed 1893
Historic Use: Residence
Present Use: Residence
Style: National Folk
National Register Status: Not Listed

SIGNIFICANCE
The 1893 Spear House is significant for its association with Tempe’s 1887 Farmer’s Addition. It is also significant as a local variant of National Folk-style residential architecture.
 
A. EVENT/HISTORY
Farmer’s Addition, located a quarter-mile west of the ASU campus, fronts South Farmer Avenue between University Avenue and West 13th Street. Platted in 1887, Farmer’s Addition was one of two late-nineteenth-century residential subdivisions in Tempe that corresponded with the development of Tempe Normal School.
 
B. PERSON
Myron and Sylvia Spear built the house at 1015 in 1893. Myron, a Civil War veteran, worked as a baker and a drayman, and for a time had his own express business; Sylvia worked as a nurse. After her husband’s death in 1913, Sylvia Spear remained at the address until 1920, when the family sold the property to John Pine, a retired farmer. Thereafter the house became known as the “Old Spear Place.” The Old Settlers sometimes held there annual picnic on the front lawn.
 
C. DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION
The Spear House is a one-story wood frame National Folk-style house. Rectangular in plan, the house sits on a crawlspace foundation with clapboard walls topped by a medium-pitched, front-gabled roof with open eaves, gable vent, and wood gable siding. A front porch addition is enclosed with wood siding, obscuring the house’s original single-leaf entryway. Windows are wood, double hung with aluminum sliders on the enclosed front porch addition.
Return to full list >>